Exit of Akal Takht’s disgraced Jathedar is irrelevant though first victory for Bargari Morcha

Chandigarh, October 18: He should have done it earlier.

Disgraced chief of Akal Takht Gurbachan Singh has resigned in the wake of increasing pressure building up on all the culprits associated directly or indirectly with issues relating to conspiratorial sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in 2015.

Gurbachan Singh is guilty as he, along with other jathedars, allegedly succumbed to pressure from then chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to pardon Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh of the blasphemy charge as he publicly copied Tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh at his congregation. The pardon period coincided with the sacrilege and needle of suspicion was already pointing to the Dera chief now in jail following conviction in rape case.

The Akali Dal needed his vote bank. The Akal Takht had directed the Sikhs in 2007 to boycott this Dera.

Gurbachan Singh had last night announced his resignation in a statement signed on his behalf by his personal assistant. He today followed it up with his signed statement with almost the same content.

His resignation at this juncture is meaningless. He has not made any effort to lessen the burden of his guilt.

He has sought forgiveness for his “conscious and unconscious” acts of omission and commission during the period he held office of this supposed to be the supreme Sikh institution for prayer and politics. However, his functioning was nothing more than that of a puppet  going by these “conscious and unconscious acts of omission and commission”.

He can’t redeem himself by just seeking forgiveness.

He should have categorically owned up his guilt and sought forgiveness in accordance with the Panthic traditions. The Panthic tradition is that of being large hearted and forgive the guilty.

The minimum that is expected from him is that he should name the leader who summoned him along with his colleagues to official residence of the chief minister, in this case that of Parkash Singh Badal.

He does not need to explain the reason for succumbing to the pressure as the minimum qualification for the Jathedar for the last several years is that he should be a person without spine.

Giani Gurbachan Singh should come out with all the details about the leaders present at the chief minister’s residence and the direction to him and his colleagues.

No need for him to provide the details of withdrawal of pardon to Dera chief after the SGPC spent more than Rs 90 lakh to defend this action that plunged both Akal Takht and the SGPC into deep crisis thereby  hitting whatever credibility these institutions were left with.

His other crime is that of dividing the Sikh community vertically across the globe on the issue of the Nanakshahi calendar. This almanac that symbolised the separate and exclusive Sikh identity was subsequently amended to kill its originality to please certain sections.

He should name the leader who was instrumental in killing the spirit of this calendar.

Every detail that he is expected to reveal is otherwise in public domain but he should bring the same on record as he was used as the puppet by the political leaders.

His resignation, of course, is the first major victory of, in words of Badals, “ISI sponsored” Bargari Insaaf Morcha launched to demand punishment for all those involved in the incidents relating to sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib.

The two massive gatherings at Bargari within a period of seven days have not started building up pressure in the Panthic matrix.

Investigation into sacrilege and police firing and Kotkapura are administrative matters and the law would take its own course, provided law is allowed to take its own course.

It is the pardon secured for Dera Sacha Sauda chief that is the major crime under the Panthic dynamics. It was a crime against the Panth. The guilty behind this action must be exposed.

It is for Giani Gurbachan Singh to decide whether he wants to redeem himself or not.

His resignation means just nothing.

Jagtar Singh


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