Et angrep på et sikh-tempel i Wien, der en sektleder ble drept, ble umiddelbart formidlet til India med SMS-meldinger der de utløste uroligheter. Fire byer i Punjab ble satt under unntakstilstand mandag.

While in Vienna, six young Sikh men armed with guns and knives stormed into a hall where hundreds of worshipers had gathered and shot at the sect leaders, said S. R. Heer, a senior official at the sect’s hospital and school in Jalandhar, a large provincial town in Punjab.

One of the leaders, Guru Sant Rama Nand, died of his injuries, while the other, Sant Niranjan Dass, was in stable condition following surgery, Mr. Heer said.

The two men were the leaders of the Ravidass sect, Sikhs who revere a saint of the same name believed to have been born in the 15th century to a family of leather workers, considered «untouchables» or outcastes, and known today as Dalits.

Saken er interessant av flere grunner. Sikher er vanligvis fredelige mennesker. Her er diaspora i Europa gjenstand for voldelige angrep. Forhold mellom disaporaer i Europa og deres hjemlige befolkninger vil i økende grad gjenspeile konflikter, konflikter som er lite forståelige for innfødte europeere og deres myndigheter. Kanskje ropene på sterkere demonstrasjon av tilhørighet, feks. i 17. mai-tog, kunne få noen motforestillinger. Noen folkegrupper tåler ikke hverandre, og andre ligger i indre strid. Feks. vil forholdet mellom tamiler og srilankesere trolig være spent i lang tid fremover.

Et stridsmoment kan være penger. Diasporaen kan ved flid og nøysomhet bli velstående.

In principle, Sikhism rejects caste divisions; one of its main tenets is the equality of all believers. But the existence of caste-based sects within Sikhism illustrates how tenacious divisions that have existed for millennia can be.

The motive of the attack on the Vienna temple was unclear. Some mainstream Sikhs disapprove of the religious practices of the Ravidass members, who worship their own saints. Mainstream Sikhism reveres only its holy book, known as the Guru Granth. But these theological disputes have rarely provoked violence between sects, experts say.

Though vastly diminished, discrimination against Dalits remains a force in everyday life among Sikhs in the countryside, said Surinder Jodhka, a sociologist at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi who studies caste in Punjab.

But, Mr. Jodhka said, Dalits have successfully integrated themselves into mainstream Sikh society, and violent caste conflicts are unusual. Punjab has one of the highest shares of Dalits, and like Dalits from other Indian states, they have climbed the social ladder by venturing out of their villages to work, earn and remake themselves.

Many Dalit Sikhs, devotees of the Ravi Dass sect, started migrating to Europe in the 1960s, helped set up Ravi Dass temples, known as gurdwaras, and played host to preachers from Punjab, for whom Europe and North America became important fund-raising bases.

Though the bloodshed happened a continent away, news of the attack, by text messages and mobile phone calls sent from the vast community of Sikh émigrés in Europe, came to Punjab almost instantly. The rioting quickly followed.

Television stations in India beamed images of sect members parading through the streets of Punjab with swords, metal rods and sharpened sticks aloft. The rioters smashed cars and set fire to empty trains, snarling road and train traffic through one of the most prosperous provinces of India, police officials said. Bank machines, car dealerships and buses were destroyed.

In Vienna, 16 people were wounded in the melee that followed the attack, The Associated Press reported.

En annen folkegruppe som befinner seg i et lignende krysspress er somaliere, der noen støtter Al Shaabab-militsen, mens andre ser dem som ødeleggere av Somalia.

Legg til kriminalitet og svarte penger, og man får en farlig cocktail.

Killing of Sikh Leader Sets Off Riots in India