Tribune News Service
Amritsar, November 26. Various Sikh organisations have reacted sharply to the Akal Takht Jathedar’s announcement to award Panth Rattan Faqr-e-Qaum to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at Anandpur Sahib yesterday.
Former SGPC secretary and Shiromani Panthic Council chairman Manjeet Singh Calcutta, in a release issued here today, termed the announcement as “unprincipled” and said among Sikhs such an award was given to an individual for his services to the “Panth”. He said there are several deserving Sikhs like Bhai Veer Singh, Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha, Prof Jodh Singh and Prof Mohan Singh who have served the religion immensely.
“If Badal has been given this award merely for raising memorials, then there are many Babas who have done a great contribution with their kar sewa,” he said.
DSGMC chief Paramjit Singh Sarna said the five Sikh high priests should tell the community as to why they should feel proud of Badal. “Should we be proud of the fact that Sikhism is on the decline in Punjab under the SAD-ruled SGPC?” said Sarna. “Golden Temple’s Head Granthi Bhai Jaswinder Singh himself stated at Anandpur Sahib yesterday that 90 to 95 per cent Sikh youth in Punjab had become ‘patit’ (apostate).”
Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh said the announcement had led to mockery of the significance of the award.
Addressing the media in Hoshiarpur, he said, “Badal is not Faqr-e-quam (pride of the community) but fiqr-e-quam (headache for the community).”
SAD (1920) senior vice-president Raghubir Singh Rajasansi said the Jathedar should review the matter.
Meanwhile, Khalra Mission Organisation chief Harmandeep Singh Sarhali said the Sikh Panth would never acknowledge the award bestowed upon the CM as it was against the teachings of Sikh Gurus. He accused Badal of “rewarding the officials who worked against Sikh interests in the 1984 Operation Bluestar and the subsequent turbulent days of militancy in Punjab”.
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