- Akal Takht leader condemned RSS for its divisive communal politics.
- RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had called India as a ‘Hindu Rashtra’.
- Along with Akal Takht, Sikh body SGPC too had disapproved RSS chiefs statements.
- Giani Harpreet Singh against Hindutva agenda
Amritsar: Calling Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as the nation divider organization, Giani Harpreet Singh the acting ‘Jathedar’ or head priest of Akali Takht, a top Sikh organization called for a ban on RSS.
While talking to media in Amritsar, Giani Singh revealed his concern.
Giani Singh said, “I believe what the RSS is doing will create divisions in the country. The statements being made by RSS leaders are not in the country’s interests.”
When he was reminded of the connections of the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, he firmly said, “It is not in our countries interests. It will hurt the country and destroy it.”
Singh stated that they have no problem if RSS celebrates the 550th Guru Nanak birth anniversary. But they should follow the Sikh code of conduct and should not violate any religious rule or ritual of Sikhism.
What Bhagwat stated?
Bhagvat had addressed the festive event on October 8 and had quoted that all the Indian people residing in India are Hindu because the country is a Hindu nation. The committee had issued a press released last Wednesday condemning his statements.
Bhagvat added that “The vision and proclamation of the Sangh regarding the identity of the nation, the social identity of all of us, and the identity of the country’s nature are clear, well thought of and firm that Bharat is Hindustan, Hindu Rashtra.”
Condemnation by SGPC
Sikh community heads have been vocal about their aversion to the RSS ideology. Last week the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), President Gobind Longowal had criticized RSS head Mohan Bhagvat when Bhagwat had addressed India as a Hindu Rashtra during the Dussehra rally.
Longowal remarked that Bhatwat’s statements were highly objectionable and India is a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual nation. He further said, “The Indian constitution gives all the citizens of the country religious freedom. But the RSS chief is deliberately ignoring the constitution and imposing the Hindu Rashtra agenda on the country.”
The SGPC is a body that handles all Sikh community-related issues and religious grievances, apart from managing the Gurudwaras’. The office bearers are elected by the voting process by the community members.
The condemnation by SGPC is noteworthy as it is dominated by Shiromani Akali Dal. Shiromani Akali Dal has been an old-time ally of BJP in Punjab and at Centre as well.
Akal Takht’s long term RSS disapproval
Back is 2004 Akal Takht had released an order to the Sikh community to keep a distance from the RSS affiliate Rashtriya Sikh Sangat outfit by calling the Sikh Sangat organization as anti- panthic.
Sikh bodies have always had strongly objected against the Sangh that it proclaims the Sikh Guru Gobind Singh as a Hindu figure.
In the year 2017, Guru Gobind Singh’s birth anniversary organized by Sangh had been slated by the previous Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh. Giani Gurbachan Singh then stated, “No one can be allowed to distort Sikh history and this kind of act cannot be tolerated. Sikhs are a separate qoum (ethnic community), and they have a distinct identity and unique history. “He firmly said that as they don’t interfere in other community rituals, beliefs, and religious ethics, they won’t tolerate outer intrusion as well.”
Giani Harpreet Singh
Giani Harpreet Singh took charge of Akal Takht after the internal elections and became the acting Jathedar in October 2018. Since then he has displayed strong disagreement stance against the Hindutva politics. Recently he also had issued a condemnation statement against the BJP leader who had loosely remarked about the Kashmiri girls.