| Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 11 Nov 2015 | Asia Samachar |
The massive show of force by the Sikhs for the gathering termed Sarbat Khalsa at Chabba, just outside Amritsar, was historic in its own right but has been tainted with allegations of it being ‘hijacked’ by certan quarters.
The gathering passed 13 resolutions which included the removal of the jathedar of Sri Akal Takht, asnwering the call of Sikhs worldwide who are fed-up with the perceived shenanigans at the heart of the Sikh power-base in Amritsar.
The 10 Nov gathering, planned as a Sarbat Khalsa, was not allowed to be held at the Akal Takht by the powers-that-be.
It also called for revival of the Shiromani Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC)’s ‘democatic representation system to manage the internal Sikh affairs which have been suspended by the state over the years’.
Numbering into a few hundred thousand, some quarters are concerned that the Sarbat Khalsa had been ‘hijacked’ by sections that had control over its planning, primarily politicans like Simranjit Singh Mann, who was today arrested by the Punjab police.
Some segment of the Sikh community had voiced their reservations that such an event could easily be hijacked as there does not seem to be robust debate and discussions on the resolutions passed.
Jagtar Singh Hawara, who was convicted in the assasination of former Punjab chief minister (CM) Beant Singh and currently undergoing life-sentence at the Chandigarh jail, was appointed as jathedar of Akal Takht.
In his absence, Bhai Dhian Singh Mand, a former Member of Parliament and reported to be a close associate of Simranjit Singh Mann, would serve on his behalf.
Amrik Singh Ajnala was appointed as jathedars of Takht Keshgarh Sahib while Baljit Singh Daduwal as jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib.
“The conclave, which was dubbed as being a ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ by the organizers was tightly controlled by associates of Simranjit Singh Mann, and ex-Damdami Taksal spokesman, Mohkan Singh, and had already prepared the resolutions in advance and pre-selected the names of the new “Jathedars” that were to be announced,” according to a report at SikhNews.net.
“Over the past few days many representatives of other organizations had complained about the lack of transparency and structure in formulating the resolutions and selection of ‘Jathedars.’ The actual resolutions and names of individuals to be announced were kept confidential by the organizers and not shared publicly until the last minute, the report add.
“This type of clandestine behavior by the organizers had infuriated many of the attendees who saw this as an once in a lifetime opportunity for the Sikh community to retake control of its destiny, but their objections were either ignored or dismissed.”
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The Sarbat Khalsa also took a dig at two key leaders in Punjab. In Resolution No4, it nullified some awards presented to Punjab chief minister (CM) Prakash Sighh Badal and SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar, and declared that they, together with Badal’s son Sukhbir Singh Badal, were ‘guilty of undermining and misusing the Sikh institutions of Panj Piare and Akal Takht Sahib’.
The move is in line with the sentiments of a slice of the Sikh population who are keen to dismantle the power base of Badal, a long-time Punjab leader who is said to have extensive connections to all sorts of enterprises.
A team of 5-men representing some 100 Sikh organisations from the United States and Canada was also present at the gathering.
In a press note dated Nov 6, the North American Sikh (NAS) said the delegation attented the gathering for ‘two sole purposes: dialogue on how to establish independent Akal Takhat Sahib and revive Sarbat Khalsa tradition.’
SEE NAS RESOLUTION HERE.
The two objectives were the ‘direct outcomes of a day long deliberation amongst diverse Sikh organisations’ on 31 Oct in Yuba City, California at a North American Sikh Summit ‘where a consent was manufactured through open and civil dialogue’.
“The decision of the Akal Takhat and its Jathedars affect all Sikhs globally, and for that matter alone, we want to assert the inclusion of global Sikh sangats in the process,” the statement quoted delegation coordinator Harinder Singh.
The other members included Manjit Singh Uppal, Manjit Singh Brar, Resham Singh and Yadwinder Singh.
There were no known representation from Sikh outfits in Southeast Asia. However, Sikh organisations in Malaysia and Hong Kong had organised peaceful gatherings express their anger on the recent incidents of beadbi of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib in Punjab.
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
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