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SGPC general house condemns arrests of Sikh youth, passed several resolutions

AMRIK SINGH | March 28, 2023 08:59 PM

AMRITSAR: Several important resolutions have been passed regarding Sikh issues in the 2023-24 budget session of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) today. These resolutions were passed amid resonance of the Sikh slogan of high spirit – Bole So Nihal Sat Sri Akal.

Several important Sikh issues have been highlighted through the resolutions like the Sikh Qaum (community) should add ‘Singh’ and ‘Kaur’ to the names of their children, the Sangat should support the initiative started for preparing Sikh youth in civil services, and an appeal has been made that the participation in Jor Melas (historical Sikh congregations) should be in light of Gurmat (teachings of Sikh Gurus).

In a resolution, an appeal has been made to Sikh Qaum that every Sikh should add ‘Singh’ and ‘Kaur’ while deciding the names of their children as keeping the name without this is against Sikh Maryada (code of conduct). The Sikhs have been appealed that they should not write their names on social media platforms without ‘Singh’ and ‘Kaur’. Through this resolution, the media houses have been asked that they should write/read/publish the names of Sikh personalities with ‘Singh’ and ‘Kaur’.

In a resolution regarding the difficulty faced in maintenance due to the abundance of Rumala Sahib offered by the Sangat at Gurdwara Sahibs, it is said that the Sangat should offer only the Rumala Sahib if required and instead support the Sikh body in providing opportunities to Sikh youth in administrative services. It is said that the current time is to advance intellectually, for which it is necessary to ensure the Sikh youth is positioned as high officers. The Sikh Qaum can play its part in this regard. It was appealed to the Sangat that the Rumala Sahibs should only be offered as per the requirement at Gurdwara Sahib and the community should come forward for supporting the coaching of Gursikh youths for competitive exams like IAS, IPS, IFS, PPSC, etc. and contribute to the Nishchai Academy started by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) in this regard.

The arrests of Sikh youths amid the current atmosphere in Punjab have also been strongly condemned in today’s SGPC budget session. Through this resolution, the government has been advised to understand the Sikh concern and fulfil its responsibility towards Punjab. Through this resolution, a commitment is expressed that the Sikh youths who are arrested, would be provided legal aid by the SGPC. It is also said that the SGPC will firmly stand with media organizations, journalists and web channels, which have been restricted/withheld during the current atmosphere in Punjab. Along with this, it was also decided to take legal action against responsible government officials who falsely propagated the flags and symbols related to the period of Khalsa Raj (rule) as those of separatists.

The SGPC session also sought strict legal action against social media platforms and individuals who are distorting Sikh history and doing character assassination of Sikhs while on the line of Hindu Rashtra. The resolution said that some people are deliberately targeting the Sikh identity, Sikh institutions, Maryada (code of conduct) and history. The Governments are deliberately ignoring this phenomenon instead of curbing it. On one hand, the Sikh media organizations and personal accounts are being banned, while those talking of Hindu Rashtra are being overlooked even as they openly speak against minority communities. The session demanded that the government should take strict action against those spreading hatred against Sikhs on social media and that every hate monger should be treated equally instead of leaving any person from a particular religion open to play with the sentiments of others.

In a resolution passed, it has been demanded from the Government of India to solve international Sikh issues besides those of Sikhs historical places in different states. In the same resolution, the discrimination being done against Punjab and Sikhs in the Army, Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), Chandigarh, and universities, etc. has also been criticized. It demanded that the Government of India should stop such behaviour with the Sikhs and resolve the Sikh issues in a just manner.

A resolution of ‘Sikhs a separate Qaum’ has also been passed in the budget session. The resolution states that Sikhs respect all the religions, but forces that hurt Sikh identity, history and traditions will not be tolerated. The session strongly warned through this resolution that no one should try to amalgamate the uniqueness, peculiarity and originality of the Sikh community.

Through a resolution, the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Act 2014 was strongly opposed and it is demanded from the Government of India to repeal it. The management of those Gurdwara Sahibs in Haryana, which were forcibly taken over at the behest of the Haryana government, should be returned to the SGPC. Similarly, the issue of Bandi Singhs (Sikh prisoners) has also been raised in a resolution. It mentioned the signature campaign started by the SGPC demanding the release of Bandi Singhs and the governments were urged to leave their rigid behaviour and take decisions in the light of human rights.

During the meeting, the Aam Aadmi Party government of Punjab also strongly condemned the discrimination being against Ajit newspaper, the voice of Panth and Punjab. It was said that the government should immediately stop the repressive policy being adopted to force the media work in its favour.

In a resolution the Punjab government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann was condemned for renaming of health centres built as memorials of Sikh personalities and martyrs in the name of opening Mohalla clinics. In this resolution, the Punjab government was asked to preserve the names of the memorial health centres as earlier and to remove the pictures of the Aam Aadmi Clinic and the Chief Minister from them.

The vindictive action being taken by the incumbent Punjab government against the Jang-e-Azadi memorial established by the previous governments in Kartarpur near Jalandhar was also termed as wrong. It was said that the government machinery is being misused in this regard for political interests, which should be stopped immediately.

In a resolution passed, the Sangat was urged to participate in historical Sikh Jor Melas (historical Sikh congregations) according to Gurmat Maryada. It was said that Khalsa’s expression and presentation as per the Gurmat is very important on the occasion of Jor Melas, so the Sangat should play their due responsibility.

Moolmantra and Gurmantra were recited while paying homage to Sikh personalities who passed away in the recent past including senior Akali leader Jathedar Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, SGPC member S. Jaipal Singh Mandian, chief of Tarna Dal Baba Bakala Baba Gajjan Singh and SGPC’s media adviser Harbir Singh Bhanwar.

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