Request SGPC to gracefully hand over control of Haryana gurdwaras: Daduwal

Published on Sep 21, 2022 11:12 PM IST

We are religious people, don’t want to get involved in politics, says HSGMC president Baljit Singh Daduwal

Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (HSGMC) president Baljit Singh Daduwal, who has termed the apex court’s decision a ‘victory of truth’, could play a significant role in taking the control of 48 Sikh shrines of Haryana, which were under the Amritsar-based SGPC. (HT Photo)
Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (HSGMC) president Baljit Singh Daduwal, who has termed the apex court’s decision a ‘victory of truth’, could play a significant role in taking the control of 48 Sikh shrines of Haryana, which were under the Amritsar-based SGPC. (HT Photo)
By, Karnal

The Supreme Court’s verdict upholding the validity of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwaras (Management) Act, 2014, has given a new turn to the gurdwara politics in Haryana.

Now, Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (HSGMC) president Baljit Singh Daduwal, who has termed the apex court’s decision a ‘victory of truth’, could play a significant role in taking the control of 48 Sikh shrines of Haryana, which were under the Amritsar-based Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).

Will the SC verdict help the ruling BJP appease the Sikh community of Haryana to counter the criticism it faced in the past couple of years on several issues, including death of Sikh activist Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa in 2018, suicide by Karnal’s Baba Ram Singh at Singhu border during farm agitation and chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s decision to skip his visit to a gurdwara in Karnal’s Dachar after its management reportedly refused to remove a portrait of Khalistan ideologue Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.

Daduwal spoke to Hindustan Times about the future of HSGMC, taking control of the Sikh shrines in Haryana, gurdwara politics and the impact of the verdict on the state’s politics ahead of the 2024 assembly polls.

Edited excerpts:

What would be HSGMC’s top priority?

Our main motive is to promote religion and better management of all gurdwaras and institutions in the state with a special focus on health and education.

How will the HSGMC take control of 48 gurdwaras from SGPC?

I have already requested SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami to accept the court’s verdict and hand over the control of all gurdwaras gracefully.

What if the SGPC refuses to accept your request?

We don’t want clashes. We have made a request to them and if they don’t respond, it is the duty of the state government to ensure implementation of the SC orders. We have already wasted a lot of money and time in this fight. Now, we should work together for the entire Sikh community.

What is the future of Haryana gurdwaras employees, especially those belonging to Punjab?

We will not sack anybody, but if they want to leave, they are free to go. Even the managements of some gurdwaras, including Fatehabad and Sirsa, have extended their support to us.

Will the HSGMC now recruit Haryana candidates only?

No. We are not in favour of making all appointments from Haryana. But the hiring will be done as per the eligibility. If we remove or ignore people of Punjab, then they will remove people of Haryana from their gurdwaras.

Is there a need of fresh polls of HSGMC?

This is up to the government to decide. Six months of my tenure are left. Let’s see what does the government do as the members were appointed for 18 months, but they have completed eight years. The tenure of a member as per the Act will be for five years and the president will be appointed for two-and-a-half years.

Do you want to continue as the HSGMC chief?

It will be the mandate of the members. But my main objective is to work for the dharma prachar. I am an all-rounder and will continue my sewa for religion. It is up to the sangat of Haryana whether they want to take my services in future or not.

What about the old members, especially former presidents?

All those people who contributed in the formation of the separate Sikh body in Haryana are welcome to work together. They will continue like before, but those who were suspended will not be allowed to work.

Are you thankful to former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda?

We are thankful to Hooda ji as well for the introduction of this Act and formation of the HSGMC (ad-hoc). We even thank the Punjab government for its support.

Do you think it will help the BJP to get Sikh votes in 2024 polls?

We are religious people and do not have political interests. We want to continue our religious works and management of the gurdwaras. It is up to the members of the community to decide whom they want to support.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Neeraj Mohan is a correspondent, covering Karnal, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Panipat and Yamunanagar districts of Haryana.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, December 05, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals