Dhadrianwale’s 3-day sermon starts amid opposition by Sikh organisations

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Published on Feb 03, 2020 09:53 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Sangrur | ByAvtar Singh, Sangrur

Controversial Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale started his three-day religious discourse (diwan) at Gidrani village near Lehragaga town of Sangrur district on Monday afternoon amid opposition by some Sikh organisations.

Known for his supposedly rationalist interpretation of Sikh religion and history, Dhadrianwale has been in the crosshairs Sikh activists for speaking against the Damdami Taksal, a Sikh seminary. Some of his diwans were cancelled in the Majha region recently, he claimed.

Earlier on Monday morning, scores of Sikh activists gathered outside the gurdwara at Kanakwal Bhanguan village to stop the preacher from starting his discourse. But they were stopped by police near the gurdwara. Heavy police force was deployed as a preventive measure.

The protesters alleged that Dhadrianwale attacked religious institutes besides speaking against Sikh history. A video was also shared on social media by some Sikh activists threatened Dhadrianwale for speaking against the Damdami Taksal.

“We have repeatedly approached the civil and police administration but the government is supporting the event. Though chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh might allow organising Dhadrianwale’s diwan, we will be opposing his activities,” said former parallel jathedar Amrik Singh Ajnala, who heads a faction of the Damdami Taksal.

Gidrani village sarpanch Harjinder Singh said the villagers were making arrangements for the three-day discourse for the past 20 days. “I appeal to Sikh activists not to disrupt the function because people want to listen to Dhadrianwale,” he said.

After holding his first diwan, Dhadrianwale said he speaks logically and has raised questions on the Damdami Taksal, which were never raised earlier.

“We cancelled diwans in Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Gurdaspur for peace. A handful of people reached Sangrur and tried to disrupt our congregation. It is my duty to speak against the wrongdoings. However, Taksal was never challenged earlier despite these Jathedars had lied for 20 years that Baba Jarnail Singh would come back,” said Dhadrianwale.

“I am ready for any discussion but they should discuss with a positive approach,” he added.

Sangrur deputy commissioner Ghanshyam Thori said eight duty magistrates and around 1,500 cops were deployed to maintain law and order situation in the area.

“The event was organised with prior permission. It remained peaceful,” said Thori.

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