Dharamyudh Morcha gains: Three full terms for Parkash Singh Badal

Jagtar Singh

Chandigarh, Aug 4: The IT support back-up of Akali Dal president-cum-media baron and former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal must be given due credit that people are kept updated regarding important events in the history of the Sikhs and the Akali Dal through his messages on social media.

Sukhbir Singh Badal today reminded the people that the Akali Dal launched the Dharamyudh Morcha on August 4, 1982 and the very first group to offer court arrest was led by his father Parkash Singh Badal.  Scores of people were killed and thousands went to jail during that  agitation.

Here is the message from Sukhbir Singh Badal:

“When the Congress party and the then Congress Prime Minister Indira Gandhi started illegal detentions of the Sikh leaders, Shiromani Akali Dal launched the Dharam Yudh Morcha for their release and also got detained. The first Jatha was launched on 4th August, 1982 under the stewardship of S. Parkash Singh Badal. He and the entire jatha were imprisoned in the same jail of Ludhiana that was inaugurated by him. Before this incident thousands of women had tied rakhis to S. Badal and he spent his whole life in fulfilling the confidence and trust that was bestowed upon him in the shape of Rakhi. I am a witness myself of his devotion and commitment. He dedicated his whole life to uphold people’s faith in him and is continuing the efforts for the betterment of Punjabis.

“I feel so proud whenever I think about the history of Shiromani Akali Dal which is full with pages of glory. I thank the almighty for blessing me to serve such an inspirational organizing. I salute all the martyrs of Dharam Yudh Morcha.”

He did not refer to the outcome of that struggle.

It is pertinent to into gains and losses of that agitation.

The gains are clear.

The Akali Dal formed the government four times after this agitation out of which Badal was the chief minister for three full terms creating record in the electoral dynamics of Punjab.

Yet another gain is that the Badal family now has complete monopoly over commercial exploitation of the Golden Temple by way of rights to telecast Gurbani live. PTC group of channels is owned by the Badal family. The sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple has virtually been converted into studio for this purpose in violation of all norms of a maintaining a structure that is unique in the world.

The morcha was launched on demands that included transfer of Chandigarh and left out Punjabi speaking  areas to Punjab, apportionment of river water dispute,  autonomy on the basis of Anandpur Sahib resolution, setting up of a transmitter for live transmission of Gurbani from Golden Temple,  second language status to Punjabi language in Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Ganganagar district of Rajasthan, end to eviction of Punjabi settlers in Terai, all India gurdwara legislation, holy city status for Amritsar and end to  centre’s interference in the affairs of the Sikhs.

The main issues  have now virtually been forgotten. The waters issue is being kept alive by the Supreme Court.

Live telecast of Gurbani is among the main gains.

The Akali Dal in its 2004 manifesto for the SGPC election had promised that this body would set up its own channel for telecast of Gurbani and propagation of religion. That promise has been forgotten.

His team should also remind Sukhbir Singh Badal of the promises made by the Akali Dal that he heads now from time to time.

The army attack on the Golden Temple code-named Operation Bluestar threw up several sensitive issues, including the one relating to the Sikh Reference Library. This issue that concerns the Sikh heritage too seems to have been forgotten despite the fact that the party has a strong presence in the Narendra Modi cabinet.


Jagtar Singh


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