RSS Sikh wing clarifies to Takht: ‘Want to build powerful India by creating harmony as per Gurbani’
The Takht had called for boycott of the event after reiterating its decree of 2004, in which it had termed the RSS and the Sikh wing as “anti-panthic forces”.punjab Updated: Nov 10, 2017 10:02 IST
Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, a wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has written to the temporal seat Akal Takht with a clarification about its name and the event organised by it in New Delhi last month to mark the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh.
“Our organisation wants to build a powerful India by creating harmony as per Gurbani,” reads the letter.
The Takht had called for boycott of the event after reiterating its decree of 2004, in which it had termed the RSS and the Sikh wing as “anti-panthic forces”.
Sikh outfits have been alleging that the RSS wants to subsume Sikhs into a Hindu identity and reduce its gurus to nationalist figures. “Sikhs are separate qaum (group) and they have distinct identity and unique history. They don’t interfere in rituals, beliefs and code of ethics of any other religion. How can they tolerate interference from others in their own faith and its ethos?” Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh had said last month.
He had sought a clarification from the RSS wing 10 days ago. Indirectly giving an opportunity to the RSS affiliate, the jathedar had stated that “the boycott won’t be revoked until it does not come clean on its agenda about the Sikhism”.
Adding that copies of the letter have been sent to jathedars of the four other Takhts, the leaders sought an appointment from the Akal Takht jathedar to give a clarification in detail.
Now, a response letter from the RSS wing, signed by its president Gurcharan Singh Gill and general secretary Avtar Singh Shastri, starts with: “You have provided big relief to us by keeping the doors open for hearing our voice. We are grateful to you. We pay deep respect to Akal Takht Sahib.”
It adds, “Our organisation has always played leading role in redressing social, religious, economic and security issues concerning to the Sikhs. We have re-established glory and respect of Sikhs out of Punjab and we will always be committed to work in this direction.”
“We would like to make it clear that are just continuing the tradition of Sangat (community) constituted by Guru Nanak Dev. We have named ourself Rashtriya Sikh Sangat as we want to follow the tradition of Sangat by becoming humble follower of the tradition.”
Citing that Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Arora, a hero of the Bangladesh war, had also formed Rashtriya Sikh Forum, the wing leaders state in the letter, “We understand that concept of Sangat can’t be limited to one country, but we have named it Rashtriya Sikh Sangat as our area of functioning is only India.”
Adding that copies of the letter have been sent to jathedars of the four other Takhts (temporal seats), the leaders sought an appointment from the Akal Takht jathedar to give a clarification in detail.
About the event held at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi, on October 25, the letter says, “We didn’t celebrate birthday of Guru Gobind Singh on October 25 but it was one of the many functions as part of 350th birthday anniversary celebrations. We didn’t install Guru Granth Sahib at the function for the sake of respect as venue was a sports stadium with chairs.”
“We have organised three types of functions as part of celebrations. In first two types, we didn’t install Guru Granth Sahib as these functions were more like seminars to discuss the life and ideology of Guru Gobind Singh. The third kind of functions was held in Guru Granth Sahib’s presence.”