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Hindu groups target Sehajdhari Sikhs in Punjab under controversial Ghar Vapsi campaign

March 29, 2016 | By

Chandigarh: The reports of Hindutva bodies spreading their wings in Punjab are once again in discussion. According to a report published by the Indian Express (IE), with the Rajya Sabha (upper house of the Indian Parliament) passing a legislation barring Sehajdhari Sikhs from voting in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections, Hindu organisations have launched a campaign, including on social media, asking the 70 lakh-strong community to “identify with their origins and join Hinduism”.

[FIle Photo used for representational purpose only]

[FIle Photo used for representational purpose only]

A front page news in the Indian Express (edn. Chandigarh, Mar. 28) notes that [w]hile the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has started “village-level interactions” to “enlighten” Sehajdhari Sikhs, a little-known outfit called Hindu Nyay Peeth has started distributing pamphlets in some villages of Ludhiana and Bathinda to convey that Hinduism was “always open” for them.

“The interactions have started in rural Punjab and soon seminars will be held at the grassroot-level to tell Sehajdhari Sikhs that they are not different from Hindus. We have no problem with Sehajdharis remaining in Sikhism, if they get respect and rights but if not, they should turn towards their origin. There is no need to get forcefully converted to Christianity or Islam,” IE quotes Sukhpal Singh, a central executive member of VHP.

It may be recalled here that on March 16, the upper house of Indian Parliament passed the Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill 2016, excluding the Sehajdharis from voting in the fiercely contested SGPC elections, mostly won by the Shiromani Akali Dal and its allies. The Bill is expected to come up in Lok Sabha (lower house) next month.

The unique and distinct Sikh identity and independent status of Sikh religion is accepted globally but the Hindutva bodies are hell bent to deny unique and distinct religious identity of the Sikhs while wrongfully propagating Sikhs as a part of Hindus.

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