September 30, 2015 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh/ Amritsar: Punjab’s ruling party Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) may be denying to have influenced five Jatehdars’ decision to grant pardon to pseudo-baba and dera sauda Sirsa chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim but the fact is that the Badal Dal has invoked all sources available at its disposal to sell dera chief’s pardon to the Sikh community. But the ruling party had an iron chickpea between its teeth this time.
Despite statements from all sort of supporters of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) advocating the acceptance of Jathedars’ decision to pardon the controversial dera chief, the opposition to the impugned decision is growing stronger. SAD (Badal) supporters are finding it hard to even find a convincing reasoning while advocating acceptance for Jathedars’ decision and their only plea is that the Sikhs, in all cases, should accept that decision announced by Takhat jathedars.
Besides Sikh groups in Punjab and Indian subcontinent, the decision has also been rejected by a majority of foreign Gurdwara committees and diaspora Sikh organisations.
In yet another attempt to create an impression of acceptance of the controversial decision, the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) yesterday (Sept. 29) held a meeting of general house to pass a resolution in favour of Jathedars’ decision but the body failed to pass it in a regular manner.
As per information available with the Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) the meeting was attended by around ninety members of the SGPC, where as the body has 185 members, including 170 elected and 15 nominated members.
The meeting was also not attended by five Singh Sahib, who remain present during other meetings of the SGPC general house. There was no parkash of Guru Granth Sahib during this meeting as against the established tradition to hold general house meetings in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
Moreover there was stiff opposition to the resolution that was read out by SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar and the meeting passed off without holding voting or making “jakara” symbolising acceptance of the resolution so read out.
Besides opposition members, many SAD (Badal) members also opposed the resolution, while holding that the decision of Jathedars’ was incorrect. Those who opposed the resolution included Bibi Kiranjit Kaur, Surjeet Singh Kalaboola, Bibi Joginder Kaur Dharamkot, Amrik Singh Shahpur and Gurmeet Singh Sirsa. Bibi Kiranjot Kaur said that the decision of Jathedars was in violation of the Sikh traditions. She said that all members of the SGPC general house should be allowed to debate any resolution on Jathedars’ decision. The meeting reportedly ended in just five minutes and there was no debate on the the draft read out by Avtar Singh Makkar.
On the other hand Sikh organisations have declared to oppose Jathedars’ decision in every possible manner.
Family members of Sikh youth who were killed by dera Sauda followers and other Sikh activists who are serving jail terms in relation to cases of clash with Dera Sauda followers have also questioned rationale behind Jathedars’ decisions.
“We put every effort to ensure implementation of Akal Takhat’s hukumnama calling for boycott of dera Sirsa and opposing it’s activities. Today we are serving jail terms and Jathedars say that they have now pardoned dera chief” said Balkaran Singh Dabwali, while adding that they were not hurt by convictions and jail terms but Jathedars’ decision has hurt them beyond limits.
Move against Jathedars’ decision is also going stronger. After United Khalsa Dal and Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), other Sikh organisations have also held meetings and resolved to oppose Jathedars’ move to grant pardon to dera sirsa chief.
Yesterday hundreds of activists of Dal Khalsa and Akali Dal Panch Pardhani (ADPP) gathered at Akal Takhat Sahib and held an Ardas samagam. Heads of both Sikh bodies tear off copy of Jathedars’ controversial decision pardoning Dera chief as a symbol of their rejection to Jatehdars’ move.
UAD and other Sikh bodies will be holding a symbolic half day shut down in Punjab today (Sept. 30) to oppose governments’ interference in Sikh institutions like Akal Takhat Sahib.
Political analysts opine that the move has hit political interests of the ruling party (SAD Badal) in Punjab to a large extent and under present circumstances all efforts of damage control are failing to yield much return for the Badal Dal.
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