October 4, 2015 | By Nirbhau Nirvair Study Circle
Chandigarh: Full text of open letter to Giani Gurbachan Singh by students of Punjab University and Nirbhau Nirvair Study Circle reads as follows:
Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh Jio,
Mukh Sewadar Sri Akal Takht Sahib
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
We are writing on behalf of Sikh youth across the globe who are thriving to bring forward the message of Guru Granth Sahib Ji and build a society on the principles laid down by our Gurus. The ongoing unfortunate events have drawn our attention and forced us to write to you and show our concern regarding the recent actions taken by Sri Akal Takht Sahib.
In a recent hukamana issued by you, the Chief of Dera Sacha Sauda has been granted pardon after consideration of his so-called apology letter. Here, we urge the entire Sikh nation and especially you to pay attention to some of the points and arguments that follow:
Firstly, we have read the so-called apology letter by Dera Sirsa Chief in which clearly he has not apologized but has only said that he cannot do such an act of blasphemy of portraying himself as Guru Gobind Singh. On the contrary, in 2007 when he tried to re-enact the event of Baisakhi 1699, Sri Akal Takht Sahib took a firm stand calling it blasphemy. The Sikh nation held protest during 2007 and three of our youth sacrificed their lives in it. Hundreds were illegally detained. But, by pardoning the Dera Sirsa Chief now you have raised the question of do we value the life of our martyrs? Our history speaks for itself. In 1978, when Nirankaris tried to do a similar act, 13 Sikhs gave their life protesting under the leadership of Bhai Fauja Singh and Sri Akal Takht Sahib stood by the cause. Similarly, when the Sikh community protested against the portrayal of Guru Nanak sahib in a movie, in a very articulated move, you requested the producers to take back the movie.
Then, why is there a sudden change of attitude?
Secondly, if we go by the history of the Dera Sirsa Chief, in 2002 he was trialed by CBI under the case of sexual exploitation of women followers of the sect and murder cases of journalist Ram Chander Chatrapati and Fakir chand. Recently, in January 2015 he was accused of castrating about 400 male followers. The account given by witness of the events taking place in the Dera is horrifying.
Do these actions mean nothing to Sri Akal Takht Sahib or can we that easily grant pardon to a person with such a background?
Looking at the larger perspective, the hukamnama cannot be isolated from the upcoming 2017 Punjab elections. It can be said that the decision is taken considering the political interest of our so-called “panthik government” while sacrificing ideological stand of Sikh faith. In the history, a grave mistake of honoring General Dyer after the massacre of Jallianwala Bagh has been made at the temporal seat of Sikhs. Are we not moving on the way to repeat the similar mistakes?
It was startling to see that the so-called “apology letter” by Dera Sirsa Chief led to the meeting of all the five jatherdars of our community immediately but on the other hand, an ongoing hunger strike of more than 250 days by Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa has never been addressed and no hukamnama has ever been issued in its support. Today, we also want to bring into your notice some of the points regarding the ongoing sangharsh.
Bapu ji is demanding release of political prisoners who are eligible for release. Here, it should be understood that these prisoners are not criminals, but they are the people of our community who, at one time, fought for the rights of the community and raised their voice against the injustice happening to our community. Sri Akal Takht Sahib, at that time, completely supported the Dharam Yudh Morcha that led to the arrest of most of these political prisoners. Some of them have even completed the term of 14 years in jail so isn’t it the responsibility of Sri Akal Takht Sahib to come forward in the struggle for their release?Punjab has witnessed a number of draconian laws in its history like TADA, POTA, etc. These laws, being undemocratic and against human rights spirit, have caused a lot of harm to the state and especially its youth. Even today a lot of prisoners are held under such laws in jails. Isn’t it the duty of Sri Akal Takht Sahib to raise its voice against such draconian laws just as our Guru Sahib did?
The questions raised above are of major concern to us, we consider ourselves as nothing but keen servants of the panth. We are wholly committed to the temporal seat of Sri Akal Takht Sahib which stands for truth and justice but are now facing an un-imaginable crisis of going against the ‘hukumnama’ because we consider it unjust and against the Sikh principles.
Therefore, we strongly urge Sri Akal Takht Sahib to kindly consider our questions and send a reply at the earliest.
Nirbhau Nirvair Study Circle