Centre opens channel with Badal to persuade him not to precipitate confrontation with Haryana Sikhs

Chanchal Manohar Singh | July 26, 2014 05:11 PM
Chanchal Manohar Singh

Centre opens channel with Badal to persuade him not to precipitate confrontation with Haryana Sikhs

By Chanchal Manohar Singh*

Chandigarh, July 24: Keeping in view the negative impact on the SAD-BJP alliance regarding the confrontation being built in Haryana over the formation of separate HSGPC, the Centre has moved to pacify Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, on Thursday deputed former Chief Minister Shanta Kumar to prevail upon Badal asking him not to launch the “morcha” in Haryana over the separate gurdwara panel, the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (HSGPC).

The BJP has a strong feeling that SAD will go in alliance with family friend Om Parkash Chautala and will use the platform of gurdwaras in Haryana for election campaign by supporting Chautala’s party, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).   

The issue could be resolved by talks for which a fast track diplomatic action was required because in the event of any violent clash with Haryana Sikhs the  BJP would lose its face. As Haryana Sikhs are avoiding a violent clash with the SGPC’s task force occupying Gurdwaras to protect them being taken over by the management of the HSGPC’s ad hoc committee.

The leaders of HSGPC have announced that they would not take over the possession of gurdwaras by force. Rather, they would stay away from the gurdawaras where the SGPC, Amritsar, and the Shromani Akali Dal (Badal) have deployed armed task force personnel from Punjab.

Even the statement issued by Haryana Finance Minister, Harmohinder Singh Chattha, that no gurdwara will be taken forcibly from the SAD (Badal) and SGPC, Amritsar, armed personnel and some Nihangs also are camping in them.

The SAD has called its world convention at Manji Sahib in the Golden Temple on July 27 while Haryana Sikhs have called a conference in Karnal a day later. They have also invited Akal Takht Jathedar Mohan Singh to participate in the Haryana conference. Bu now Akal Takht Jathedar has given is verdict by cancelling both the conferences. Let us sees what is next?

The SAD’s move not to hand over the possession of gurdwaras to HSGPC is neither supported by partner BJP in Punjab, nor the Haryana BJP has shown any interests to support Badal against the Haryana Sikhs. The Centre is watching the situation and seeking advice of both its BJP units in Haryana and Punjab.

The BJP wants to win Haryana elections in the ensuing elections to form its government on its own. If the majority among the 25 lakh Sikh voters goes against the BJP-SAD in Haryana, the chances of BJP losing a third consecutive election to Congress appears too close.

The BJP has a strong feeling that SAD will go in alliance with family friend Om Parkash Chautala and will use the platform of gurdwaras in Haryana for election campaign by supporting Chautala’s party, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).   

Both the BJP units in Haryana and in Punjab have very tactfully and cleverly avoided their involvement in the tussle between the HSGPC and the SAD-SGPC (Amritsar). Not a single statement has been issued by any BJP leader supporting the SAD-SGPC move or opposing formation of the HSGPC or its Sikh leaders. This shows that Badal is losing politically and out of frustration, creating the use of the Sikh religion and Sikh sentiments as a shield to camouflage his political move to retain control on Haryana Sikh politics.

BJP leaders though do not speak openly but they whispering that BJP has lost its vote bank because of SAD’ mis-governance and increasing corruption in government in Punjab.

The Aam Adami Party (AAP), which does not have any base in Punjab nor any party structure, won four parliamentary seats and was on top in 33 assembly segments. This is haunting the BJP leadership. Even the defeat of its stalwart Arun Jaitely with a big margin of over one lakh votes at the hand of former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh are reminders to BJP that SAD is losing its sheen among voters in Punjab.

Badal’s new move of building confrontation in Haryana is to exploit Sikh religious sentiments to regain support of Sikhs in rural Punjab. 

That already separate Sikh management bodies are in existence in Bihar and Maharashtra states where the Sikhs have two of the five sacred Takhts i.e . Takht Sri Patna Sahib (Patna) and Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib (Nanded) respectively. Sri Guru Gobind Singh’s birth place is Patna and he breath his last at  Nanded, Maharashtra, where the Sikhs have Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib.

The Madhya Pradesh, and West Bangal also have their seperate state gurdawara management committees. The Bangla Desh Gurdwara Management Board, Howhrah and Madhya Pradesh and Ccahttisgarh Kendriya Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Bhopal also manage and look after the Gurdwars in the above mentioned two states and also run the Sikhs educational institutions.

The Delhi state has its own  Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), which controls and manages the affairs of the historic Sikh shrines and Sikh educational institution in the National Capital.   

When there are State level bodies to run the Sikhs instituions in several states, can we say that the presence of so many state level gurdwars committeed have divided the Sikhs. Similarly, the HSGPC’s managing the gurdwaras’ affairs in Haryana will in no way divide the Sikhs.

Yes, one thing subsequently would happen that Badal himself would get slightly weakened politically. That is why he is crying “foul” and attacking Congress. Now, after the formation of the HSGPC, the struggle if any remains, it is between Badal and Badal-controlled SGPC versus HSGPC and not with Congress.

Badal is unnecessary dragging Sonia Gandhi & Congress into this crisis, and inciting the Sikh religious sentiments to have his control over the Haryana Sikh Community.

However, the BJP’s national high command, BJP Haryana and BJP Punjab, have realized that Badal has lost enough of its hold with the Sikh masses and especially in Malwa.

Most appropriate words on this issue are said by the former advisor to Akal Takht Jasdev Singh Rai. In Rai’s opinion generally, Sikhs feel that the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (HSGMC), is a political rather than a religious issue. Whether it is formed or not does not have o any impact the wider Sikh community anymore than the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee does. Sikh unity is neither strengthened nor weakened by the formation of new Haryana  management bodies. It only affects the reach of the SGPC and its leadership. The SGPC is a regional body that has assumed greater powers and assumed greater importance than permitted by the Gurdwara Act 1925. *Editor –in-Chief, Punjabkhabar.com

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