Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managment Committee (DSGMC) on Friday extended its support to the Akal Takht and called upon call Panthic bodies to accept its decision in the Dera Sacha Sauda case.
A 24-member delegation, also comprising DSGMC president Manjit Singh GK and general secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsa, met Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh at the Golden Temple here to express their support. Takht Patna Sahib jathedar Giani Iqbal Singh and Takht Damdama Sahib acting jathedar Giani Gurmukh Singh were also present. The DSGMC is controlled by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
Later talking to the media, GK said the decision to grant pardon to dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was taken in the larger interest of Sikhs. The decision is important for the peace and communal harmony in Punjab, he added.
When told that the dera head had sent only a written clarification on the accusations, GK claimed that he had sought pardon for his actions and had acknowledged the supremacy of the Takht.
However, when pointed out that Ram Rahim had not used the word pardon in his letter, GK had no answer.
On contentions by a large section of Sikhs that for seeking forgiveness, Ram Rahim should have appeared before the Akal Takht, GK contended, “In such cases non-Sikhs do not have to appear before the Takht.”
To justify the Takht’s decision, he pointed out that even Guru Hargobind had forgiven Mughal ruler Jehangir for having imprisoned and tortured Guru Arjan Dev.
So forgiveness is part of the Sikh religion, and if anyone seeks pardon from the Akal Takht, he is forgiven, he added.
When asked if the Congress alleged to be responsible for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots could be forgiven, GK said, “Yes, it can be forgiven provided its leaders approach the Takht with a clear conscience.”
Takht Patna Sahib jathedar hails move
Meanwhile, Takht Patna Sahib jathedar Giani Iqbal Singh, while hailing the decision of the Akal Takht, echoed the views of the DSGMC that it was in the interest of peace and communal harmony in the state.
“The decision has saved Sikhs from a ghallughara (genocide),” he contended while pointing out that had the Takht not taken the decision there could have been violence in the state.
When pointed out that the decision had not gone down well with a large section of the Panth, the jathedar said, “The Panth is the Shiromani Akali Dal, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and the five Sikh Takhts -- Akal Takht, Takht Keshgarh Sahib, Takht Damdama Sahib, Takht Patna Sahib and Takht Hazur Sahib. We the jathedars of the five Takhts are the custodians of the Panth and are empowered to take decisions.”
Giani Iqbal Singh, who was part of the panel of jathedars that had exonerated the dera head on September 24, took the Sant Samaj, led by Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Dhuma, to task for opposing the Takht decision. “The Samaj first rejected the Akal Takht decision in order not to lose its support base on foreign land. Now, its leaders are apologising for having been critical of the Takht,” the jathedar claimed.