Monday 26 October 2020

Mystery surrounding pardon by Akal Takht to Dera Sacha Sauda chief continues to deepens

- Posted on 24 March 2019

Chandigarh, March 24: Former MP Tarlochan Singh who has been a close associate of the family of 5-time chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in Delhi has given further twist to the controversial apology by the Akal Takht led Sikh clergy to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh in the blasphemy case in September 2015.

It is in public domain that the apology was drafted at official residence of the chief minister who happened to be Badal in his fifth term. This apology was subsequently withdrawn in the wake of rising Sikh anger after the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee had spent about Rs 90 lakh to defend it in the media.

Tarlochan Singh has now revealed that the apology was granted on a letter purportedly sent by Dera Sacha Sauda chief that in effect was drafted by him way back in 2007 and the word apology was not part of the wording. He has involved himself in the  issue when he was approached by Swami Agnivesh who has initiated the moves to normalise the situation between the Sikhs and the Dera chief. This was after the Akal Takht had ostracised this Dera on blasphemy charge.

Tarlochan Singh has  now confirmed the earlier expose by former chief of Takht Patna Sahib Giani Iqbal Singh that the word apology was inserted later in the letter. He was member of the 5-member committee of the high priests headed by Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh. Gurbachan Singh went out in disgrace shunned by the Sikh masses.

The former MP made this startling disclosure yesterday at Amritsar during a seminar organised by the Chief Khalsa Diwan.

It is in public domain that the Takht chiefs were summoned at Badal’s residence where this pardon was finalised.

It may be recalled that the Bir of Guru Granth Sahib had already been stolen from a gurdwara in Burj Jawaharsinghwala village on June 1, 2015 and its pages were found scattered in the streets of nearby Bargari village on October 12, 2015. Those who were arrested in the cases of sacrilege during that period after the  regime change in 2017 are members of Dera Sacha Sauda. This is the crucial aspect.

This issue of controversial pardon and its revocation don’t come under legal jurisprudence but fall in Sikh religio-political domain. The special investigation team is probing the sacrilege and police firings at Kotkapira and Behbal Kalan. However, at the bottom is the apology that was drafted at Badal’s residence.

The two persons who must exhibit moral courage and confess are Badal and Giani Gurbachan Singh. Badal should tell the Sikhs as to for what purposes were the members of the Sikh clergy summoned to his residence. This in itself is violation of the Maryada as these people heading the Sikh institutions are not supposed to submit to government authorities. These people are supposed to function independently even of the SGPC president and the Akali Dal chief.

Badal has not been questioned on this issue including by the media as why these people were summoned to his residence and who others were present.

Giani Gurbachan Singh should be questioned as to why he took other members of the clergy to Badal’s residence. He should have the courage to disclose as to who brought the apology letter at Akal Takht and on whose order the word ‘apology’ was inserted in the original letter.

This is the only way to revive the Sikh institutions that have degenerated and now stink. The people heading the Sikh institutions are spineless and this  rather is the only criteria for their appointment.

Badal should know that each of his predecessor in the Akali Dal exited in disgrace and he is no exception. The only difference is that he is also the first Faqr-e-Qaum Panth Rattan and 5-time chief minister.

Can the present Akal Takht acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh exhibit spine and order probe into the entire controversy by a 5-member committee of non-controversial and eminent people in the religio-political domain whom the community can trust?

The fall of the Sikh institutions would prove to be too costly for the Sikhs as a community.

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