September 6, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: Dal Khalsa has termed Delhi ex-bureaucrats missive to Punjab CM urging withdrawal of Punjab’s sacrilege law as “misplaced and insensitive”.
In a sharp reaction to the joint open letter by several former bureaucrats asking the Punjab CM Amrinder Singh to review it’s new law on sacrilege proposing life imprisonment for blasphemy by describing it “bad in law” and “politically expedient”, Sikh body Dal Khalsa has said that “it is a misplaced reaction without considering the Sikh ethos related to Guru Granth Sahib as living Guru for the Sikhs and the pain the Sikhs have suffered over the years in the increasing number of incidents of desecration.”
“The state ignores Sikhs and now those opposed to the state also ignore Sikhs, their sentiments and sensibilities,” said Kanwarpal Singh, expressing disgust at the insensitivity of those who are expected to be pro-people. Like the state thinking, everything is not only “law and order.”
The civil collective has failed to fathom the agony of the Sikhs. This section of India and others did not understand why Sikhs were up on arms when the Dera Sauda pseudo-saint dressed up as Guru Gobind Singh, nor does it express anything about the growing incidents of pages of Guru Granth Sahib burnt or torn by anti-Sikh elements in a conspiratorial manner since the last three years. It is a one sided statement which simply ignores the deep pain Sikhs undergo when their revered Guru Granth Sahib is desecrated. There is no change in thinking, then and now.
Sadly and surprisingly, the open letter does not even make any reference to the sacrilege incidents in Punjab over the years.
Derogatory remarks and blasphemous actions destroy the social fabric of society and harm the notion of secularism and not to the contrary as the open letter says, said Dal Khalsa spokesperson .
The statement seeking reduction of the role of religion in matters of state is a rather unwise way of making society adopt unethical ways in personal and public life.
It is ironical that the genuine conscience keepers of India cited global research to say that “blasphemy laws were particularly prone to misuse against minorities and weaker sections,” but there is no mention of the misuse or non-use of existing laws against Sikhs, who are a minority.
The letter by Harsh Mandher and others is illogical. We understand that the misuse of stringent or any law against minorities is always a huge possibility, especially in India, but that should not prevent the state to make laws to punish crimes which create discord and enmity within communities. Possible misuse of a law cannot be a bar to enacting new legislation.
The reference to the Shah Bano case or the Babri Masjid case is irrelevant. Punishing blasphemy is not “pandering to religious extremist religious sentiments for short term gains.”as they have stated. In fact, the punishment should be exemplary to deter elements from such action.