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Announcement of religious award for Badal invites strong criticism

November 30, 2011 | By

  • Dal Khalsa writes to Parkash Singh Badal
  • Panch Pardhani equates him with traitor Dogras
  • Sikh Federation Australia raised opposition with Giani Gurbachan Singh

Ludhiana, Punjab (November 30, 2011): Announcement of Panth Rattan: Fakhar-e-qaum honour for Punjab chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, by Giani Gurbachchan Singh Jathedar of Akal Takhat has invited a strong wave of criticism from Sikh circles across the globe.

Many Sikh organizations of Punjab such as Shiromani Akali Dal (Panch Pardhai), Dal Khalsa, Sikh Students Federation and AISSF (Peer Mohammad) have already expressed their opposition in this regard. Similarly, there is strong wave of criticism for the proposed move among Sikh diaspora circles also.

Ludhiana: “Badal shall get single-line mention”- Panch Pardhani

Equating Punjab CM and patron of ruling Badal Dal, Parkash Singh Badal with Dogras, who betrayed the Khalsa Raj established by Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur, Media Committee member of Shiromani Akali Dal (Panch Pardhani), said that Badal would get only single-line mention in Sikh history like Dogras.

“Dogras find their mention that: they betrayed the Khalsa Raj, though they were enjoying political seats at that time. Likewise Parkash Singh Badal will find similar mention that: Badal betrayed the Sikh nation, though he is enjoying political power now days.” added Manjhpur.

Melbourne, Australia: SFA raised opposition with Giani Gurbachan Singh

Sikh Federation of Australia has already submitted it’s opposition with Giani Gurbachan Singh over phone. “Jathedar has told us to send opposition in writing and we shall be doing so very soon, along with signatures of thousands of Sikhs living in Australia”, Jaspreet Singh Karnal and Gurtej Singh Akali told Sikh Siyasat Network.

Constructing opposition on social networking

Similarly, a campaign against this proposed move has already begin on social networking website Facebook. Groups like “Qaumi Awaaz Radio Program” are organizing this campaign.

Amritsar: Dal Khalsa writes to Parkash Singh Badal urging him to withdraw his name for Panth Rattan title

Alleging that Parkash Singh Badal is neither dutiful nor faithful to the Panth, the Dal Khalsa in a communique has urged him (Badal) to withdraw his name for Panth Rattan Faqr-e-quam title.

In a memo faxed to Chief Minister, the party’s political secretary Kanwar Pal Singh said the arbitrary decision of Jathedar Gaini Gurbachan Singh to bestow the title of ‘Panth Rattan’ on Badal at Akal Takht on Dec 5 has plunged the community into crisis.

According to the letter, the proposal by the jathedar Gaini Gurbachan Singh was an outcome of the sycophancy culture prevailing in the society and argued as to how the decision of the Jathedar was not influenced by merit.

Defining the Panth, the letter states, “It’s an embodiment of the collective consciousness of the Sikhs (in the light of Sikh principles and ideology and not numerical strength).

Arguing as who should be considered for this honour, he said ‘the one whose contribution towards the Panth is selfless, remarkable and unparalleled and whose dedication is unflinching’.

Taking a dig at Badal, he said it has never been “your aim to stand for the Panth or if need be make the supreme sacrifice for the Panthic cause”.

“In fact, your motto has never been ‘Panth first’. Your first and last priority has always been self, to remain in power and enjoy pelf and privileges at all cost or at any cost”, reads the letter.

It further states, “you could be anyone but not Panthic, that’s for sure and this impression is widespread even outside Panthic circles. It’s this non-Panthic character of Badal that makes him ‘most favoured’ (Sikh) politician’ in the eyes of country’s political establishment”.

The radical group however, accepted that Badal was a tall leader of Punjab and successful politician with secular credentials. Acknowledging his participation in various agitations and years spent behind bars, Kanwar Pal Singh pointed out that Badal has earned maximum political capital out of it.

In the history of the Akal Takht, Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Sant Singh Maskin and Jasbir Singh Khannewale were conferred with the honour of Panth Rattan that too posthumously. And this decision of Akal Takht to bestow the title posthumously is based on certain principle and that is ‘to err is human’, said he. The letter further stated that Bhagat Kabir ji, says in Guru Granth Sahib on page 1366: Your boat is still out at sea; who knows what will happen.

The letter pleaded that since Badal was the leader of the party that nominates the president of the SGPC and appoints Jathedar Akal Takht, it’s he who should voluntarily ‘refuse to accept the title of Panth Rattan’ as the Jathedar can’t be of any help to bring the community out of crisis.

The letter concluded with a hope that Badal would see the reasoning behind the Panthic outcry and would turn down the offer made by the Jathedar of Akal Takht.

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