Op Blue Star Anniversary: Akal Takht Jathedar talks about churches and weapons training for youth
Expressing concern over the “spread of Christianity” in Punjab, Akal Takht Jathedar Gyani Harpreet Singh on Monday stressed the need to promote Sikhism in border areas and urged Sikh organizations to encourage youth in the community to train in traditional martial arts and modern weapons. He also reminded the community of the concept of Badshahat or Raj (sovereignty) given by the Gurus, which Sikhs still reiterate in their daily ‘ardas’ as ‘Raj Karega Khalsa’.
“We repeat this concept in daily prayer. We have to keep repeating it. A Sikh can never reject the concept of Raj. It’s a distinct thing that some like [Shiroman Akali Dal (Amritsar) president] Simranjit Singh Mann asks openly and others like me subtly. If we want to do the Raj, then we will have to become real Khalsas,” the Jathedar said during his usual address to the Sikh community from the Akal Takht podium to mark the 38th anniversary of Operation Bluestar.
The Jathedar claimed that “churches and mosques” were being built in numbers in rural areas of the state and urged Sikh preachers to visit villages to promote Sikhism.
“We are facing several challenges that weaken us on the religious, social and economic fronts… To weaken us on the religious front, churches have appeared in the villages,” he said, adding that it was “a matter of concern and worry for us”. ”.
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Singh said the issue should be addressed by Sikh institutions and jathebandis (organizations). “Sikh preachers and scholars must come out of air-conditioned halls and into border areas to promote Sikhism and educate young people about rich Sikh principles and history. We must understand that if we are strong on the religious front, only then will we be strong on the economic and social fronts and also overcome political weakness,” he added.
The Jathedar also castigated the first prime minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru, for allegedly adopting anti-Sikh policies. “It started in 1947. Nehru had a policy in place to oppress Sikhs and it culminated in Operation Bluestar in 1984,” said the Jathedar who heads the highest Sikh temporal seat.
Operation Bluestar was carried out by the Indian Army on June 6, 1984 to flush out the Golden Temple militants.
Expressing concern over the threat of drugs that afflicts many young people, the Jathedar spoke of the need to combat this scourge.
“We need to create modern Gatka (Sikh marshal art) centers and shooting ranges. Some give weapons training secretly, but we will give this training openly. We need to take our young people out of the drug menace and give them weapons training. We have to educate them so that they can control the economies of different countries. Then no world power can stop our Raj,” Jathedar said.
Meanwhile, pro-Khalistan slogans were waved by supporters of radical Sikh outfits as well as that of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) at the Golden Temple. Many young people held banners and placards reading “Khalistan Zindabad”. They wore T-shirts with the photo of slain separatist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale printed on them.
Simranjit Singh Mann of SAD (Amritsar), who was also present at the scene, spoke about the murder of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala and demanded justice for the family.
Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place in Amritsar to ensure the smooth running of the event.
Calling the ghallughara (holocaust) of June 1984 a painful saga of atrocities perpetrated against the Sikh community, the Jathedar questioned the massive deployment of government forces in the city of Amritsar during this period. “Governments must understand that the Sikh community is not a community that intimidates but protects the oppressed,” he said.
He said that “the attack on several Sikh shrines including Sri Akal Takht Sahib always hurts the community and it is a historical fact that whoever attacked Sikh shrines was doomed.”
The Jathedar also called for the Sikh corps to assemble. “The journey is difficult. When a person walks on the path, he has to face many problems. But when we come together forgetting the difference, the journey becomes easy.
On this occasion, family members of several former terrorists were honored with “Siropaos” (robes of honour).
SGPC Chairman Harjinder Singh Dhami said, “The Sikh community can never tolerate the desecration of their shrines and the Panth has always given a stern response to the enemy invader. The holocaust of June 1984 was not committed by an external enemy but it was a brutal act committed by the tyrannical government of our own country. It was an act of alienation of Sikhs that will be remembered as the cruellest act in the religious history of the world.
Meanwhile, Dal Khalsa thanked the people of Amritsar for “extending cooperation by observing a peaceful and comprehensive bandh in Amritsar”.
Commenting on Gaini Harpreet Singh’s speech, Kanwar Pal Singh of Dal Khalsa said, “Jathedar reiterated that every Sikh should arm himself with an authorized weapon. Supporting his views, the leaders of Dal Khalsa ask the Jathedar to set an example by carrying a gun to his body”.