Highlight Centre’s denial of permission to jatha to Nankana Sahib, Akal Takht tells Sikhs
The Akal Takht on Sunday issued an edict to the Sikh community directing it to organise functions across the world for a month and highlight the denial of permission to a jatha from going to Pakistan to attend the centenary event of the Nankana Sahib massacre at the birthplace of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak.
The edict was read out by Akal Takht acting jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh during a brief function at the temporal seat to pay tributes to those killed in the massacre. He also fixed responsibilities of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Delhi Singh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), other gurdwara bodies and Sikh organisations for the purpose.
“The community members must be told about the Centre’s excesses of not permitting the jatha from going to Nankana Sahib”, he said.
Earlier, during a function organised by the SGPC at Gurdaspur district’s Godharpur village, the jathedar said, “The community will remember the government’s move while remembering the martyrs of this massacre every year.”
“When the Nankana Sahib massacre took place, a hukamnama (decree) was issued from the Akal Takht asking the community to organise congregations everywhere wearing black turbans in protest against the British government that supported the killers. The government of the day has made the Sikhs realise the same pain they experienced 100 years ago when they heard the news of the massacre,” he added.
He said, “BJP-led central government stopped Sikhs from proceeding to Nankana Sahib in the same manner as the British stopped a jatha led by Kartar Singh Jhabbar that went to free the shrine from the control of the mahants.”
He said the Centre denied permission to the jatha as it wanted the community to call back its members protesting at the Delhi borders against the three farm laws. “This will never happen and we shall not bow down even if the government refuses permission to Sikh jathas every year,” he added.
He also condemned the politics of polarisation in the country. “Minorities like Sikhs and Muslims could be persecuted in future. The ruling party at the Centre is spreading hate in the minds of majority community against the minorities to garner votes. This type of politics is neither good for the government nor for the country. We should unite and become powerful politically to thwart this,” he said.
CM’s silence on issue
Addressing the gathering, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal questioned the “silence” of Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh over denial of the permission to the Sikh jatha. “Even few days back, some people were granted permission to visit Pakistan at the instance of the CM. Why he has not taken up the issue of the need to accord permission to the jatha with the Centre?” he asked.
Jagir Kaur apologises
for SGPC’s ‘past mistakes’
SGPC president Jagir Kaur apologised to the community for the mistakes of the gurdwara body functionaries that “they committed in the past” and urged the Sikhs to unite for a common cause.
She also announced that the SGPC would observe year-long events in various institutes and construct a Guru Ka Langar hall in remembrance of Mata Inderjit Kaur and a library in memory of the martyrs of Nankana Sahib in their villages.
Cong holds separate function
A separate function was organised by the ruling Congress at Dharowali village near Dera Baba Nanak to remember those killed in the Nankana Sahib massacre. The event was organised with the efforts of state jails and cooperation minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa,
Cabinet minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, all the party MLAs from Gurdaspur district and other leaders attended the function.
Pak minister addresses PSGPC devotees
Pakistan’s federal minister for narcotics control and local member of national assembly Brig Ijaz Ahmad Shah (retd) addressed the devotees during an event organised by the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) in collaboration with Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) at Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak, to mark centenary of Nankana Sahib massacre. Akal Takht acting jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh and Takht Kesgarh Sahib jathedar Giani Raghbir Singh also addressed the devotees, who came from various parts of Pakistan, on Zoom. Controversial Sikh leader and former member of the PSGPC Gopal Singh Chawla was also given time to speak on the dais.