| Selayang, Malaysia | 17 Dec 2016 | Asia Samachar |
A Sikh volunteer preacher narrowly escaped what is believed to be an attempted assault when a brick was flung towards his car by a motorcylist when he was returning after a gurdwara speaking session at Selayang on Friday (16 Dec 2016).
Dr Karminder Singh, a senior civil servant and an active Sikh volunteer parcharak in Malaysia, was driving three others in the car when they heard a loud bang on the car.
“This is no coincident, not an accident. It is a blatant and daring attack on a Sikh parcharak to cow him from doing his work,” Karminder tells Asia Samachar when contacted today on the incident.
“It does not affect my parchaar work. I’m in as chardi kalaa [exalted spirit] as ever. I will go ahead with more vigour. Let the police do their investigation.”
During the evening session, Karminder’s talk on the ‘Ek Granth, Ek Panth, Ek Maryada’ in the Gurdwara Sahib Selayang’s (GSS) darbar sahib (prayer hall) was interrupted twice by two Sikh men on the pretext of raising questions, something not commonly done in talks in the darbar sahib.
It is understood that one of the men had uttered some vulgarities towards the fellow Sikhs who wanted to get him to sit down to allow Karminder to continue with his session.
EYE-WITNESS ACCOUNT: Selayang incident: I’m appalled with the lies
The incident became a discussion point among Sikhs when a posting on the ‘Gurdwara Sahib Selayang Baru’ Facebook, uploaded today (17 Dec 2016), began making its rounds on the social media circles.
In the posting, the gurdwara had apparently apologised for the incident, adding: “There is no involvement of the Selayang committee and Selayang Sanggat in this as we didn’t know they will give such speech.”
When contacted, GSS committee president Gurmit Singh told Asia Samachar that the gurdwara committee did not make any such statement or apology, and that they are investigating the Facebook incident.
“The statement is illegal. I will be lodging a police report,” he said. “The Facebook was given to two young persons to handle. We will investigate.”
Karminder, who had lodged a police report, believes the brick throwing incident was related to the talk at the gurdwara.
“I know who is the mastermind behind all of these. They are trying to stop this parchaar form going on. There are hints and connections between what happened at the gurdwara and the brick incident. That’s for the police to work out,” he said. “Unable to put forward arguments to counter issues, this is the cowardly way of doing it.”
Karminder added that the Sanggat (congregation) present were ‘rapt and attentive’ to the presentation.
“The Sanggat members actually shouted them down to listen. The granthi and the committee tried to get them to sit down. After the talk, many of them came up to me and were very apologetic with the behaviour of the two Sikhs. Some had tears in their eyes that this had happened in their gurdwara.”
Karminder had been one of the key speakers on the on-going ‘Ek Granth, Ek Panth, Ek Maryada’ talk series, a slogan meant to keep the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) as the fulcrum of the Sikh ethos. The last presentation session before Selayang was at Gurdwara Sahib Rawang on 13 Dec.
Among the places that have held talks on the ‘Ek Granth, Ek Panth, Ek Maryada’ slogan are Ipoh, Petaling Jaya, Kuala Pilah, Klang and Seremban.
The main proponent of the Ek Granth series is the Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC).
The slogan was inspired by the ‘One Granth, One Panth’ slogan first floated by the World Sikh Council (WSC), which has representatives from 20 countries, including Malaysia.
At its annual meeting in March 2016 in Paris, France, the WSC called on Sikh organisations to unite under the ‘One Granth One Panth’ banner to promote the teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib.
In Malaysia, it is being promoted by the MGC which represents 110 gurdwaras nationwide. Dr Karminder is a member of the MGC Dharam Parchar Committee.
“We have lined up a number of programmes for the talk series, and will go ahead with them,” MGC president tells Asia Samachar.
[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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