Now, Akal Takht jathedar calls for forming Maharaja Ranjit-like polity

This comes nearly a week after the head priest of the Sikhism’s highest temporal seat made a statement in support of Khalistan as a separate Sikh nation if the government offered it, triggering a political storm in the state.
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Updated on Jun 14, 2020 11:42 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Amritsar | By, Amritsar

Akal Takht acting jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh has given a call for launching a democratic movement in Punjab to form a polity on the lines of the one formed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh who founded a Sikh kingdom which was annexed by the British in 1849.

This comes nearly a week after the head priest of the Sikhism’s highest temporal seat made a statement in support of Khalistan as a separate Sikh nation if the government offered it, triggering a political storm in the state.

In a statement issued from the Takht Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sahib, late Saturday evening, he said, “As contemporary central governments discriminated against the Sikhs and betrayed them on the promises made before Independence, the sincere community leaders felt alienated and preferred to fight for concept of welfare state as enshrined in the Guru Granth Sahib. This was not a demonstration of spontaneous struggle or violent inclination, but a reaction to the government’s excesses.”

“If Punjab has suffered from prolonged agony, genocide of Sikhs carried out by the government on the pretext of eliminating terrorism is mainly responsible for that. No parent wants their children to be killed in fake encounters and termed as terrorists,” he said.

“Some political leaders are raking an unnecessary controversy over my earlier statement. The army’s attack on the holiest Sikh shrine ordered by the then Congress government and the brutal massacre of the community members encouraged the concept of true welfare state,” the jathedar added.

“The Indian Constitution allows every Sikhs to exercise the right to lead a struggle to propagate the idea of justice in a peaceful and democratic manner,” the jathedar said.

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