Taksal chief Dhumma hailed as heir to ‘warrior’ Bhindranwale at SGPC function; Badals mark presence | punjab$bhatinda | Hindustan Times
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Taksal chief Dhumma hailed as heir to ‘warrior’ Bhindranwale at SGPC function; Badals mark presence

The function marked the launch of a Dharam Parchar Lehar (religious propagation drive), presided over by Badungar who said, “Sant Jarnail Singh (Bhindranwale), along with his associate Maj Gen Shabeg Singh and other Sikh warriors, stood against the tyranny of the State during Operation Bluestar.”

punjab Updated: Jul 02, 2017 09:22 IST
Prabhjit Singh
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Kirpal Singh Badungar at a religious congregation in Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda, on Saturday.
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Kirpal Singh Badungar at a religious congregation in Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda, on Saturday.(HT Photo)

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Saturday honoured and hailed Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Dhumma as a successor to Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale, the radical Sikh preacher and leader who was killed in the army’s Operation Bluestar in the Golden Temple complex in 1984.

Dhumma, who now leads the seminary that was once headed by Bhindranwale, was addressed as ‘Harnam Singh Bhindranwale’ by SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar at a religious congregation in Talwandi Sabo, where former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) that controls the SGPC, was present along with MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

The function marked the launch of a Dharam Parchar Lehar (religious propagation drive), presided over by Badungar who said, “Sant Jarnail Singh (Bhindranwale), along with his associate Maj Gen Shabeg Singh and other Sikh warriors, stood against the tyranny of the State during Operation Bluestar.”

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD0 chief Sukhbir Singh Badal along with other party leaders during religious congregation in Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda, on Saturday. (Sanjeev Kumar/HT Photo)

He also appealed the Sikh masses to attain baptism “to save the religion”. He termed unfortunate the acts of desecration, “such as tossing each other’s turbans”, pointing to the recent episode when turbans of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs came off as they were being ousted from the House on the speaker’s orders. The SAD-BJP alliance and the AAP had come together against the Congress government over that.

He also stressed that “politics and religion go together for the Sikh community”, adding that, “Sikhism is a distinct religious entity with Guru Granth Sahib as the community’s source of wisdom and direction.” He further said, “Our community’s warriors took along Muslims and Hindus to fight the tyranny of the Mughal empire.”

Dhumma, in his speech, referred to Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale as someone who “stood like a warrior to safeguard the Sikh religion since 1978”. he said, “Sant Jarnail Singh safeguarded and propagated Sikh religion continuously for 5-6 years since 1978 and his message led the masses to baptism, with hordes of turbaned Sikhs visible in Punjab.”

Sukhbir and Harsimrat arrived at the function after Dhumma had finished his speech. Their presence was acknowledged from the stage, but they opted not to address the congregation. Several SAD leaders from the Malwa region and SGPC members were present too.