Ajit’s Hamdard slams SGPC over Kuldip Nayar Award Wapsi
- kanwar manjit singh
Ajit’s Hamdard slams SGPC over Kuldip Nayar Award Wapsi

FORMER RAJYA SABHA MP and media baron Barjinder Singh Hamdard has strongly condemned the SGPC’s move to withdraw the honour bestowed upon veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar and said the religious body’s step was neither justified nor something expected of it.

In a hard hitting signed editorial in the mass circulation Ajit newspaper, Hamdard, known to be an admirer of Kuldip Nayar, said as an independent journalist, Nayar had every right to his views and hardly anyone could be acquitted of responsibility as far as the events of 1980s and 1990s were concerned.

The SGPC had withdrawn the Shiromani Patarkar Award conferred on veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar in 2006 after Nayar, in an article, ostensibly compared Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale with Dera Sacha Sauda head and rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

Criticising the Kirpal Singh Badungar-led SGPC for the move, Hamdard, while acknowledging the SGPC chief as a resolved person with a good understanding of the Sikh history, said it was not expected that the religious body will take recourse to such a line of action under his leadership.

"The SGPC has only dimished its own commitment and suffered a loss in stature by withdrawing the honour since Kuldip Nayar will remain someone known for his good work and great writing,” Hamdard wrote.
Liberal Sikh circles said Barjinder Singh Hamdard’s public views on the issue were directly in contrast with some of the hardline voices from within the community.
The fact that the Ajit’s editor has opted to make his stand amply clear with an expansive signed editorial showed not only that he felt strongly about  the issue, but also represents the wider feeling among the progressive, educated Punjabis who hold that a difference in views must not result in petty and whimsical actions.
Hamdard recalled the role that Kuldip Nayar played while incessantly fighting for the interests of Punjab and Sikhs, along with other worthies such as former premier the late Inder Kumar Gujral, Rajinder Sachar, the late Lt General Jagjit Singh Arora, the late Air Martial Arjun Singh, Justice RS Narula and civil rights bodies such as Citizens for Justice Committee, PUCL, PUDR and many other Sikh and non-Sikh personalities.
Barjinder Singh Hamdard’s voice counts for a lot in Akali political circles and it will be interesting to see how the SGPC extricates itself from the mess it has landed itself in with the Nayar controversy.
"The SGPC has only damaged its own commitment and stature by withdrawing the honour (to the veteran journalist), since Kuldip Nayar in any case will forever remain a part of the tribe of scribes known for their good work and great writing,” Hamdard concluded.

Barjinder Singh Hamdard’s voice counts for a lot in Akali political circles and it will be interesting to see how the SGPC extricates itself from the mess it has landed itself in with the Nayar controversy.


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