Dal Khalsa president HS Dhami on Thursday said the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) seeking reservation for Jat Sikhs in the OBC (Other Backward Class) category was in sharp contrast to the Sikh doctrine and philosophy.
Stating that the SAD had resorted to competitive politics, he said Dal Khalsa, in principle, vehemently opposed reservation on the basis of caste. "We strongly advocate that reservation should be based on economic criteria rather than caste," Dhami said in a press statement.
He said the issue was first raised by former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, followed by the SAD core committee, and it would prove to be another step in vitiating the fragile social fabric of Punjab.
Dhami stated that over the years, the caste system had taken deep root in Sikh society, for which the SAD must share the main blame as the party was created to articulate religio-political concerns of the community.
"It was Hindu society that faced the problem of casteism, not Sikh or Muslim society," he said, "The SAD is targeting a vote bank (Jat Sikhs), who otherwise perceived themselves to be at the top of the social ladder. "It is inconceivable as to how this section (Jat Sikhs) would reconcile with so-called downgrading of its social status," Dhami said.