SGPC takes back award from Kuldip Nayar for comparing Bhindranwale with Ram Rahim

The award was withdrawn from the writer for “writing objectionable article against slain militant preacher Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale”.

punjab Updated: Oct 10, 2017 23:25 IST
Vishal Rambani
Vishal Rambani
Hindustan Times, Patiala
Kuldip Nayar,SGPC,Shiromani Litterateur award
Journalist Kuldip Nayar(HT File)

Bowing down to the pressure of the Damdami Taksal, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has decided to take back the Shiromani Patarkar Award from veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar for comparing slain militant preacher Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale with Sirsa dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, who is undergoing a 20-year sentence in a rape case.

The Damdami Taksal, a Sikh seminary once headed by Bhindranwale, is a close ally of Shiromani Akali Dal which controls the SGPC.

“I have no comments. They (SGPC) can act as per their wisdom,” says Kuldip Nayar.

Nayar had raised the hackles of Taksal after his weekly article appeared in newspapers and news portals in the first week of September.

“Sant ji (Bhindranwale) was an iconic figure of the Sikh community and Nayar has hurt the Sikh sentiments by writing against him. So, as per the request of Damdami Taksal, the SGPC has decided to strip him of the award,” said SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar after the executive committee meet at Fatehgarh Sahib.

The SGPC had given the award to Nayar on July 3, 2006, at a function marking the 400th anniversary Akal Takht at the Golden Temple.

The Taksal had also demanded ban on Nayar’s autobiography ‘Beyond the Lines’ for use of words like ‘terrorist’ for Bhindranwale. Taksal head Harnam Singh Dhumma welcomed the SGPC decision.

First Published: Oct 10, 2017 21:22 IST