Facing opposition from Sikh bodies, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Thursday put off its plan to bring Christian families back into the Sikh fold.
The HT report, ‘VHP to hold ghar wapsi for Sikhs at Bathinda temple’ (January 1), had highlighted the first-of-its-kind move by the VHP to reconvert the families at a Hindu temple according to Hindu rituals.
“Some Sikh bodies objected to holding the function at the mandir. In order to avoid any controversy, we decided to perform the ceremony at some other place,” said VHP state secretary and district unit president Sukhpal Sran who, along with a Hindu priest, was present at Satya Narayan Mandir for the function, which was put off at the last moment. He declined to name any Sikh body which raised an objection.
Regarding the Akal Takht’s stand on conversion, Sran said, “I am surprised that Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh refused to welcome families who had been brought back into the Sikh fold by Dharam Jagran Manch (an RSS wing) in Amritsar on Tuesday. The jathedar’s statement has demoralised Christian families who want to re-convert to Sikhism.”
Addressing mediapersons in Amritsar on Wednesday, Gurbachan Singh had said, “When a person (who has left the faith) expresses a desire to return to Sikhism, he must first ask for forgiveness in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib and before the Sikh sangat assembled at a gurdwara. Such a person can also approach the Akal Takht, seeking forgiveness, and only then will he be readmitted into the faith.”
However, the VHP’s new plan is not in consonance with the Akal Takht’s directions.
Sran said, “Now, we will hold the function at the house of Bajrang Dal activist Parteek Sharma in Janta colony here on Friday. We will recite Japji Sahib to re-convert Christians to Sikhs and a hawan will be organised for those returning to the Hindu fold. Then we will take re-converted Sikh families to Damdama Sahib to make them baptised Sikhs.”
The local administration had reportedly conveyed to Sran not to hold the function so as to avoid any law and order problem.