Radical groups, the Dal Khalsa and the SAD (Panch Pardani) have resolved not to allow Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh to address the Sikh ‘sangat’ from the pretexts of the Harmandir Sahib on the occasion of ‘Bandi Chhor Divas’.
The Sikhs celebrate Diwali as ‘Bandi Chorr Divas’ which coincides with the release of their sixth guru, Guru Hargobind, from Gwalior fort in Madhya Pradesh alongwith 52 ‘rajas’ or chiefs of small kingdoms, who, too, were imprisoned in the same fort by the then Moghul ruler Jehangir. The Guru had insisted on the release of the 52 ‘rajas’ as a pre-condition for his release.
On this auspicious occasion, the jathedar of the Akal Takht gives his customary message to the Sikh ‘panth’ just before the display of fireworks.
This message is delivered over the public address system, generally from the top of Darshani Deori, the entrance to the sanctum sanctorum. The two radical groups have, however, not specified as how they intend to stop the jathedar from giving his message to the ‘quam’.
This threat is being perceived as yet another move by radicals to put pressure on the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee to sack the jathedar before Diwali or before the proposed ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ (Sikh congregation).