Harsimrat Badal should formally move for forfeiture of awards to Rajiv Gandhi

Chandigarh, December 28: It should be heartily welcomed that the Akali Dal leaders and workers have finally started getting provoked on issues concerning the Sikhs after having been pushed out of power by the people in Punjab.

This provocation led to blackening the statute of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi who is perceived to be responsible for November 1984 massacre of Sikhs in Ludhiana. This provocation after 34 years was follow up to the conviction of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in one case relating to that tragedy.

Earlier, both Badal and his son and Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal got provoked when Akal Takht parallel Jathedar Dhian Singh Mand started his dharna at Bargari from June 1 to demand action against the culprits responsible for sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in 2015 and those responsible for firing on peaceful protesters demanding action.

Both father and son got so enraged that they attacked Mand as agent of Pakistan spy agency ISI and the Congress. They apprehended threat to amity and communal harmony by this sit-in on sacrilkege issue that was peaceful.

This change in attitude of Akalis should be welcomed as they did not get provoked when Bir of Guru Granth Sahib was found missing from Burj Jawahar Singh Wala gurdwara on June 1, 2015. They did not get provoked when posters appeared in Bargari village daring the Sikhs to trace the missing Bir that was claimed to be hidden in that very village.

They did not get provoked when the pages of that Bir were later found scattered in the streets of Bargari.

The Akali Dal government headed by Parkash Singh Badal, of course, got provoked. The police under that government opened fire on the Sikhs who were peacefully protesting against sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib killing two of them.

It is in this context that the role reversal of the Akali leaders should be welcomed.

Now Sukhbir and his wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal who is food processing minister in the Narendra Modi government have demanded that all honours and awards conferred on Rajiv Gandhi should be withdrawn.

Harsimrat Kaur Badal tweeted: “The Congress Party has always made calculative moves to eliminate the Sikh community. Hence, Rajiv Gandhi, the then PM of the country, forfeits his rights to any coveted award or honour.”

Sukhbir stated in his tweet: “Those behind the great betrayal to the Sikh community deserve punishment, not awards. Now when the court has proved that the killers of the 1984 riot victims are none other than the Congressmen it’s time to take back the honours.”

Harsimrat being the union minister should now walk the talk on this sensitive issue.

Bharat Ratan is the highest award that is conferred on a leader in the country. However, the decision is taken by the executive.

Harsimrat should formally move a proposal in the cabinet following due procedure in this regard. This should at least come on record.

Unlike the Shiv Sena, the Akali Dal is a very faithful alliance partner of the BJP. The Akali Dal should press the Modi government at least once on an issue concerning the state.

Then there is also the demand by a section of the people in Punjab for the recall of the honour of Faqr-e-Qaum Panth Rattan conferred on 5-time chief minister Parkash Singh Badal from Akal Takht on the issue of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and related issues.

Jagtar Singh



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