By Abdul Bari Masoud
Amritsar: The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the highest body of Sikh religion, has condemned RSS for suppressing the freedom of other religions and minorities in an attempt to make the country a ‘Hindu Rashtra’. It also slammed the central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not doing anything to protect the rights and freedom of religion for all.
This is for the first time that the SGPC’s general house meeting has passed a resolution against the RSS which many call it a paramilitary organisation. Acting Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh had spoken against RSS many times and even he demanded a ban on it. SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur and Akal Takht Jathedar were also present at the meeting.
During the budget session of the SGPC, several important resolutions related to Sikh concerns were passed on Tuesday. These different resolutions moved by SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur were approved by the members present in a loud voice amid resonance of jaikaras (Bole So Nihal Sat Sri Akal).
In the resolution on RSS, the SGPC accused it of threatening the minority communities by intervening in their affairs
The resolution strongly opposed the move to suppress minorities in India, including the Sikhs.
It read, “India is a multi-religious, multilingual and multi-ethnic country. Every religion has made a great contribution to its freedom, especially the Sikh community, which has made more than 80% sacrifices. But sadly, for a long time now, religious freedom of other religions has been suppressed in the wake of the RSS’s (Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh) move to make the country a Hindu Rashtra. Minorities are being targeted through direct and indirect intervention.”
The resolution also called on the Government of India to work for the protection of the rights and freedom of religion of all religions instead of being ready to implement the efforts initiated by the RSS.
All those elements who try to suppress the minorities should be punished, sought the resolution.
In another resolution, the SGPC urged the United Nations Organization (UNO) to declare current year (2021) as the “International Human Rights Year” with regards to the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur being celebrated on May 1, 2021.
The resolution states, “The ninth Patshah (Guru Tegh Bahadur), despite not agreeing with the traditions and principles of Hindu religion, opposed forcible conversion and gave martyrdom. He is proud of being the chadar (shroud) of Hind, Dharam (righteousness) and the world. Guru Sahib protected religious rights through his martyrdom.
While terming the three farm laws as ‘black laws’, SGPC pledged to stand with all sections, including the farmers, who are struggling against the black laws.
Another resolution in this regard strongly condemned the death of a youth (Navreet Singh) during the tractor march held by the farmers in Delhi on January 26, 2021 and the torture and imprisonment of hundreds of them. Demanding an impartial inquiry into the matter, the farmers and youths lodged in jails were asked to be released immediately and all cases against them should be withdrawn.
The SGPC has also strongly condemned the decision of the GOI to restrict the jatha (group of pilgrims) from going to mark the 100th anniversary of Saka Nankana Sahib in Pakistan in February 2021.
The resolution termed the action of the Indian government as an action taken on the lines of the British and the Mughals and asked the Union government to apologize to the Sikh community.
A resolution has also been passed regarding reopening of the corridor of Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib (now in Pakistan), the holy shrine of Guru Nanak. It said that the temporary closure of the corridor due to corona is hurting the religious sentiments of the sangat.