Why Rs 90 lakh spent on ads when Ram Rahim was pardoned: RSS wing | punjab$regional-takes | Hindustan Times
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Why Rs 90 lakh spent on ads when Ram Rahim was pardoned: RSS wing

The sangat is a wing of the Rashtriya Swyamsewak Sangh (RSS) whose ideological differences with the Sikh outfits have cropped up on a number of occasions.

punjab Updated: Sep 15, 2017 12:27 IST
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Gurcharan Singh Gill
Gurcharan Singh Gill (HT File )

In a communiqué to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat has questioned the logic of spending Rs 90 lakh on advertisements last year, when the Akal Takht jathedar had pardoned Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh

Ram Rahim has now been jailed for raping two of his female disciples.

The sangat is a wing of the Rashtriya Swyamsewak Sangh (RSS) whose ideological differences with the Sikh outfits have cropped up on a number of occasions.

Sangat’s Jaipur-based president Gurcharan Singh Gill who wrote to SGPC president Kirpal Singh Badungar last week said he wanted to know why funds from the gurdwara goluk were spent on advertisements in September 2015. The pardon was withdrawn 23 days later.

SGPC has majority of members from Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), an ally of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that has government in the Centre. BJP is a political wing of Nagpur-headquartered RSS.

Gill also raised the issue of political interference in functioning of the SGPC and the Akal Takht (the highest temporal seat of Sikhs).

Reacting to the communiqué, Badungar said there was no general house of SGPC (known as the parliament of Sikhs) when advertisements were given, and he would hold a meeting of its executive committee to know the fact as to what happened in September 2015.

Then the advertisements were given to explain the pardon given to dera chief and also to control a flare-up and keep law and order situation under control as the pardon had not gone down well with the Sikhs.

“I took over in November 2016 after the general house of SGPC was revoked by the Supreme Court. We will go to the bottom of the issue,” he said.

In 2007, the Akal Takht had asked Sikhs not to have any social link with the dera and its chief who they said committed blasphemy by imitating 10th Sikh master Guru Gobind Singh. The act of imitation also led to clashes between dera followers and radical Sikhs.

Questioning the sangat’s credentials, Badungar said, “Why put Sikhs in a nationalist bind? The Sikhs are patriots and the fact is known worldwide.” To this, the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat chief said ‘rashtirya’ was prefixed with the sangat to explain the geography of the body as it operates in India.