Sikhs raise separatist demand in anguish, do not want India’s disintegration: DSGMC chief
He said,“Killers of Sikhs are still enjoying freedom; 34 years have passed since the attack on Sri Harmandar Sahib, and still many Sikhs who took political asylum in western countries are not issued visa to visit their own country.”Updated: Jun 30, 2018 17:27 IST
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Days after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA and leader of opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira landed in a soup after he purportedly justified the Khalistani separatists’ ‘Referendum 2020’ call, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Manjit Singh GK on Friday said Sikhs who raise the demand “do so in anguish” and then qualified his statement.
“Except people like Gurpatwant Singh Pannu (of US-based group ‘Sikhs for Justice’ that has given the referendum call), who is running a drive to disintegrate India as part of their business, many Sikhs do so in deep pain caused by the injustice with the community done by the Union governments,” GK said, replying to a query at a press meet.
“Killers of Sikhs are still enjoying freedom; 34 years have passed since the attack (army’s Operation Bluestar against militants) on Sri Harmandar Sahib took place, and still many Sikhs who took political asylum in western countries are not issued visa to visit their own country. Even their children, who are innocent, are not allowed to visit their motherland.” he said, adding, “This alienates them from the country. Instead of being pushed away, they should be brought closer to the country.”
However, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader said, Sikhs in India don’t favour the separatist cause. “Disintegrating India is agenda of ISI (Pakistan’s spy agency), and Sikhs don’t vote for persons who carry this kind of agenda. You can see all the elections held in recent past in Punjab and Delhi.”The SAD, led by the Badals, had demanded a case of sedition against Khaira when he had allegedly supported the referendum call.
On the pro-Khalistan stand of some ofice-bearers of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC), said, “They do so in helplessness. You know a Sikh has recently been killed in Peshawar. So they are bound to speak what is suited for the government of Pakistan and its intelligence agencies like ISI.”
Kirtan darbar on border
While sharing the plan of celebrating the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the first guru of the Sikhs, the DSGMC chief said they have proposed to organise a kirtan darbar (religious congregation) on the Zero Line at Attari on the India-Pakistan border, “as this is the way to Nankana Sahib (Pakistan), birthplace of Guru Nanak”. He hoped that the the governments of both countries will allow it.
Further, he said, he has also raised the demand before the Union government — SAD is a constituent of the regime — to construct a corridor from Dera Baba Nanak (Gurdaspur) to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib (Pakistan) “for at least two months” in the wake of the birth anniversary.
A pan-India nagar kirtan (religious procession) is also part of the plan, he added.
Will he contest from Amritsar?
On speculation that he may contest the Lok Sabha elections from Amritsar segment if the BJP gives this seat to the SAD, GK said, “It is too early to say anything in this regard. Seat swapping between BJP and SAD has not taken place yet.” Asked expressly if he “wants” to contest from the holy city, he said, “If the party asks me to do it, I will. However, I belong to Delhi, so I would like to contest from Delhi on the SAD symbol.”
First Published: Jun 30, 2018 17:26 IST