Sadaknama controversy: ‘We are proud of our Maharaja Ranjit Singh, but authors should be given their space’
The residents, including organisers of the event, were not aware about “Suraj Di Akh”, authored by Sadaknama, which created a controversy and the writer has been booked for his acts to outrage religious sentiments.Updated: Nov 15, 2017 12:49 IST
Hindustan Times, Sangrur
The ‘dhadi’ jathas during their performance in a religious function organised at Badrukhan village, the birthplace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, on his birth anniversary on Monday were enlightening people about the Maharaja’s smooth married life along with wars in the region. The residents were being told that how Ranjit Singh was a family man as well as a valiant warrior, who vanquished opponents and provided a peaceful atmosphere to his people. However, not even a single preacher or speaker touched the recent controversy, which erupted due the latest book of Baldev Singh Sadaknama, “Suraj Di Akh”, a novel on Maharaja’s life. The Sikh emperor has been allegedly portrayed in a poor light in the book. The book has been taken off the shelves after protest by radicals.
Born on November 13, 1780, the Maharaja is believed to have been born in Badrukhan.
The residents, including organisers of the event, were not aware about “Suraj Di Akh”, authored by Sadaknama, which created a controversy and the writer has been booked for his acts to outrage religious sentiments. Sadaknama was summoned by Rampura police in the case a few days ago. Most of the residents said they ‘have not read’ the book so far, but they support Ranjit Singh.
“We are proud of the Maharaja because he established the Sikh Raj, but I also think that the authors should have some space to express his/her views,” said Bachan Bedil, a prominent lyrist, from the same village.
Some of the residents ignored the book’s content by assuming that ‘kings are often known’ for controversies.
“I have read three books on his life but not the recent one. I think he was a king and kings often arrange more than one marriage. Even the British government tried to defame his son Duleep Singh by different ways,” said Randeep Singh Mintu, son of the woman Akali sarpanch.
This was also the native village of his mother Raj Kaur. However, some historians contend that he was born in Gujranwala in Pakistan.
“Ranjit Singh continued the legacy of kings prior to him. Even after Baba Banda Singh Bahadur’s victories over landlords, Ranjit Singh again revived feudalism in the state” said Jujhar, 67.
Sadaknama was among the first eminent Punjabi writers who returned their Sahitya Akademi awards to protest “the growing intolerance and curbs on freedom of speech” in the country. The author of “Dhaawaan Dillo De Kingrey”, the book that had won Sadaknama the award is now under ‘attack’ of some Sikh outfits for his new book “Suraj Di Akh”.
First Published: Nov 14, 2017 16:36 IST