I am asking a redundant question. Everyone already knows the answer. Sikh history vouches for it. I used to believe this myself. I was born in a Sikh family. Therefore, I was a Sikh. But I never completely accepted this.
While in my teens, I read the writings of Guru Nanak and came to know more about Sikhism. With my newfound knowledge, I challenged myself to break away from the traditions of my family. But my quest to do that was hindered. At the time, I never knew this.
I challenged myself because I realized that the word Sikh comes from Sanskrit shishya meaning a disciple, student. I also discovered that in order for me to be a Sikh, I had to commence my own study.
As I continued to learn, I never realized that whatever I learned, it kept me chained to an invisible prison. That prison is one whereby the educational system, society, religion and one’s parents, all conspire to keep one mind-controlled.
For many years, I was lost in the pursuit of learning all that was required to be a Sikh and beyond that, an Amritdhari Khalsa Sikh.
As a young man, I set out to outdo my father. He had been outside India far too long. I figured his tenacity to the traditions had waned. Though I never saw him wear the kirpan or observe him do the prayers from the gutka, nonetheless, I knew he was still a devout Sikh. He was devout enough to terrorize not only his brothers but our family as well.