Holier than thou? It’s pilgrimage time for Punjab netas | punjab$dont-miss | Hindustan Times
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Holier than thou? It’s pilgrimage time for Punjab netas

As anger over incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib boils over in Punjab, religion seems to be the only refuge for its politicians.

punjab Updated: Oct 21, 2015 22:06 IST
Sukhdeep Kaur
Starting October 23, Bajwa (top left)and his loyalists would first visit Takht Keshgarh Sahib followed by Dera Ballan Sachkhand in Jalandhar and then the Arch Bishop at Jalandhar.
Starting October 23, Bajwa (top left)and his loyalists would first visit Takht Keshgarh Sahib followed by Dera Ballan Sachkhand in Jalandhar and then the Arch Bishop at Jalandhar.

As anger over incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib boils over in Punjab, religion seems to be the only refuge for its politicians.

Fearing a backlash over Akal Takht’s pardon to Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal paid a hurried visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar to express his deep anguish and pray for peace.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha Captain Amarinder Singh mocked Badal, saying the “CM is trying to shed crocodile tears”.

Two days later on Monday, the Amritsar MP paid a long-due visit to his constituency, for visiting the holy shrine and the Durgiana Temple. He, too, prayed for peace in an evident show of strength with 20 MLAs in tow.

Catching the religion bandwagon, deputy chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal was quick to ask his party’s district presidents to hold ‘akhand paaths’ for peace and brotherhood in their respective districts.

On Wednesday, CM Badal visited another holy seat of Sikhs, Takht Keshgarh Sahib, for the ‘bhog’ (culmination) of the ‘akhand paath’ and chalked out a detailed programme for leaders and workers of the ruling SAD-BJP alliance to organise ‘akhand paaths’ at town and village level.

Punjab BJP president Kamal Sharma, too, released pictures of his visit to a gurdwara in his home district, Ferozepur, to pray for peace.

As an intense battle of one-upmanship rages within the Punjab Congress, its state chief Partap Bajwa, too, on Wednesday announced a three-day pilgrimage to foster spirit of brotherhood covering all faiths and regions of Malwa, Majha and Doaba.

Starting October 23, Bajwa and his loyalists would first visit Takht Keshgarh Sahib followed by Dera Ballan Sachkhand in Jalandhar and then the Arch Bishop at Jalandhar. The all-faith pilgrimage will conclude on September 25 after a visit to the Golden Temple, Ram Tirath Mandir and the Durgiana Temple.