Bandi Chhor Diwas: In his ‘sandesh’, Akal Takht jathedar bats for Panthic unity
Takht Kesgarh Sahib jathedar Giani Raghbir Singh and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Gobind Singh Longowal also addressed the sangatUpdated: Oct 28, 2019, 23:02 IST
Acting Akal Takht jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh on Sunday called for Panthic unity, saying the community is facing many challenges such as a non-conducive environment for Punjabi language in Punjab, the government’s non-seriousness in releasing Sikh prisoners permanently and a deterioration of environment in the state.
Delivering the customary ‘sandesh’ (message) from the darshani deori (entrance to sanctum sanctorum) of the Golden Temple on the occasion of Bandi Chhor Diwas (Diwali), the jathedar said, “Following the teachings of Gurbani, we all should sit together to reach an understanding. The Panthic organisations should bury differences and shun infighting for interests and betterment of the community. They should focus as how to tackle the challenges. Also, we should not indulge in false propaganda against each other and face constructive criticism.”
“Non-Sikh sections in Punjab are being a mute spectator to economic problems faced by the state by terming them as Sikh issues. Therefore, the Sikh Panth needs to tackle these problems with unity and mutual understanding,” he added.
Unlike previous year, no slogans were raised against the jathedar on the occasion.
Takht Kesgarh Sahib jathedar Giani Raghbir Singh and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Gobind Singh Longowal also addressed the sangat. As per tradition, heads of nihang organisations were also honoured.
Mand denied entry to Golden Temple
The SGPC task force with the help of Punjab Police personnel deployed in the Golden Temple complex did not allow 2015 Sarbat Khalsa-designated parallel Akal Takht acting jathedar Dhian Singh Mand who had come to deliver ‘sandesh’.
Flanked by his supporters and United Akali Dal (UAD) leaders Mohkam Singh and Satnam Singh Manawan, Mand reached the shrine at around 5pm. When denied entry, they sat on the floor outside in the entrance plaza and read out his ‘sandesh’.
Mand said, “The SGPC is playing the role which was played by corrupt masands during the Guru’s era and mahants during the British rule. This is unfortunate that a takht jathedar was not allowed to enter the Golden Temple”.
Also, a ‘sandesh’, purportedly by Jagtar Singh Hawara, who is serving life imprisonment in Tihar Jail in case of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh’s assassination and was appointed the Akal Takht jathedar during the 2015 Sarbat Khalsa, was circulated in the complex in written.