The Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said here today that the Congress and the party of Arvind Kejriwal ganged up to fulfill the age-old dream of the anti-Sikh forces to gain control over the religious affairs of the Sikh community against mandate of the Sikh masses.
"Everyone can now see the desperate scale of interest which these parties have displayed in grabbing control over the most sacred Sikh shrines and to convert the highest seats of authority in Sikh religion into the mouth-pieces of the anti-Sikh forces, exactly as the British had done before the Gurdwara Sudhar Lehar. The Congress-AAP bluff has been called and now they can no longer hide their secret agenda and befool the masses," said Badal in a statement here.
The Chief Minister challenged both the Congress and its camp-follower, the Aam Admi Party to display courage to openly seek a mandate from the Sikh masses by contesting the forthcoming SGPC general elections.
The Chief Minister also said it could not have been a mere coincidence that the Congress and AAP had identical stands on all other issues too like the SYL, Punjabi speaking areas left out of the state, release of Sikh prisoners, drugs, and non-interference in the religious affairs of all communities, especially the minorities.
Reacting to the passage of the Sikh Gurdwara (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha today, Badal welcomed the development as 'historic' and thanked all those who supported the Sikh cause. "This has undone a historic distortion in the Sikh religious affairs and in the management of the Sikh shrines. This will remove all unnecessary confusion on the issue."
"The Congress had always hatched conspiracies to dilute or destroy established Sikh institutions gained through countless sacrifices by Sikh masses and by leaders of the stature of Baba Kharak SIngh and Master Tara Singh. Now, the AAP has joined it to strengthen anti-Sikh elements,” said the Chief Minister.
Badal said that the SAD’s insistence on the management of Sikh shrines only by the ideologically pure and those perfect in understanding and implementing this purity of religious practices is purely for the purpose of management of Sikh religious affairs as per Sikh norms. "Other than this, the Sikh Gurus, the Gurbani and Sikh religious beliefs preach no distinction between people professing different faiths. Everyone, regardless of his religious beliefs, is welcome in any Sikh Gurdwara which traditionally has four doors. Guru Granth Sahib contains verses from saints, seers and other enlightened souls from different sects and communities, and different walks of life., and their bani has been accorded the status of the Guru. That is why when we bow our heads before Guru Granth Sahib, we bow before all the saints and seers and prophets from different communities. The Foundation Stone of Sri Harmandar Sahib was laid by Sain Mian Meer, a Muslim. The issue of purity in thought and practice is a matter that pertains to the maintenance of purity in our religious places. For all other purposes, the Gurus taught us to love and respect every human being, regardless of his religion or beliefs as equal.”
The Chief Minister asked the Cong-Aam Admi Party gang-up to stop trying to create fissures in society in general and in the Sikh masses in particular, or they would have to face the wrath of the Sikh masses, already simmering since the army assault on the holiest of the holy shrines, Sri Harmandar Sahib in June 1984. "The Congress and the
AAP may pretend to speak against each other in a prep-planned strategy, but secretly they are working on a common unholy agenda to gain power and misuse it to dilute and destroy the purity of Sikh religious thought and practices. The Sikh masses will never allow this" he said.