President of Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (HSGMC) Jagdish Singh Jhinda has charged the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) with inciting religious sentiments of Sikhs by issuing inflammatory advertisements to oppose the formation of a separate Sikh panel in Haryana.
This week, the SGPC released advertisements which were published in various newspapers, condemning the Congress’ alleged nefarious designs to divide the Sikhs by constituting a separate panel to manage gurdwaras in Haryana.
It alleged that the Congress had always tied to belittle the authority of Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhism, by raising questions on the hukamnamas issued by it.
The advertisement also carried photos and references to Akal Takht, which was damaged in Operation Bluestar in 1984.
It also appealed to follow the directives of Akal Takht jathedar and maintain status quo on the Haryana gurdwaras which were in legal custody of the SGPC.
Meanwhile, Jhinda told HT that the leadership of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) which controlled the SGPC was feeling insecure after the Haryana government met the demand of the Sikh community to have an independent gurdwara panel.
He said that HSGMC was a legal entity and was awaiting the sewa sambhal of gurdwaras.
“It is unfortunate that the SGPC has stooped low in issuing inflammatory advertisements to suit its political masters in Punjab. What is the justification between formation of HSGMC and showing unfortunate incident of damage to the Akal Takht in advertisements?” he asked, while blaming the Akalis and the SGPC to divide the Sikh community by raking issues of the past.
Jhinda said that the SGPC and the SAD should explain how Sikh panth could be endangered if the gurdwaras were managed by members of the same community without any interference of the Haryana government.
“It is no argument that only Sikh leaders from Punjab can manage gurdwaras and if sangat from Haryana demands the same then it is wrongly tagged as tactic to divide the community.”
“The SGPC must keep in mind that the huge money spent by it on advertisements containing inflammatory contents belongs to guru ghar and it should be spent only on welfare activities. Sikh sangat is well aware of the maryada and have highest regard for the traditional institutions but a section of SGPC is working as political agents of Akalis.