Why objections to Sant Bhindranwale’s poster in Kartarpur Corridor video song ?
Chandigarh: Sant Jarnail Singh Khalsa Bhindranwale, the man who confronted the attack by the Indian army on the Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) complex in the first week of June 1984 was accorded the highest status of martyr by Akal Takht on June 6, 2003, 19 years after the avoidable but brutal action that left a permanent scar on the Sikh psyche.
The announcement was made by Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti.
The reason for the delayed elevation of his status was the decision of Damdami Taksal that he headed at the time of his death on June 6, 1984 that Sant Bhindranwale was alive and would appear at some opportune time. This decision was part of some agency design operated through some people in Taksal. The man who was also party to this decision included his father Joginder Singh.
It was consequent to his elevation as martyr that the Damdami Taksal constructed the memorial to commemorate Sant Bhindranwale and his associates who were killed in the 3-day army action supported by tanks and armoured vehicles. The memorial next to Akal Takht was opened in April 2013 at the time Punjab was ruled by Akali Dal-BJP government headed by Parkash Singh Badal. The Darbar Sahib complex is managed by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee that is a statutory body under the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925.
This is the third memorial after that of Baba Deep Singh and Baba Gurbaksh Singh in this shrine complex. Sant Bhindranwale has now the status of the earlier two martyrs of the Sikhs who too sacrificed their lives while fighting against the attack on the shrine by the then rulers. It was not the first time that the Golden Temple was attacked for the first time in 1984. This shrine was reduced to rubble at one time in history and the sacred in which it stands was filled up with carcasses of animals but the Sikh rebuilt it within no time without changing the design even by an inch.
Why should there be objection to the person elevated as martyr by his community and who has been commemorated by raising memorial in the shrine complex next to the place where he fell? This is the basic issue.
Should a person with his memorial in the Golden Temple complex be attacked as a ‘dreaded terrorist’?
It is for the Akal Takht Jathedar to answer these questions.
Gurcharan Singh Tohra who headed the SGPC for more than a quarter of a century never removed the photograph of Sant Bhindranwale from his drawing room.
It is pertinent to mention here that the decision to raise this memorial was taken first by the apex body of the Akali Dal in October 1984 but could not be implemented in the wake of the stand taken up by the Damdami Taksal that resulted in the denial of martyr status to him.
It is also important that the term ‘martyrs’ for all those who died confronting the army during Operation Bluestar was used by the senior most leaders Parkash Singh Badal and Surjit Singh Barnala in a joint statement before their arrest in June 1984.
Here is the relevant part: “Judging in this background the glorious fight put up by Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and other Sikhs to defy the might of the Indian army when the attack was launched at the Golden temple complex and tread the most glorious path shown by Sri Guru Arjan Devji in June , 1606 which testifies the undaunting will of the Sikhs to make supreme sacrifice in the cause of religion human dignity, freedom of conscience and equality of man. This blatant and ruthless action of government is an act of vengeance as well because it were the Sikhs alone who had launched from the Golden Temple an agitation against Emergency in 1975. Who could ever think of resisting Hindu fascism which stark the land today under the shattered mask of Congress secularism like German’s Nazism…. Shiromani Alkali Dal calls upon the Sikhs all over the world to observe June 17, 1984 as Ardas Divas (Prayer Day). On that day bhog of Sru Guru Granth Sahib be performed and prayers should be held for the martyrs who laid down their lives while defending Sri Harmandir Sahib and Sri Akal Takht Sahib.”
The issue is in the court of the Akal Takht Jathedar and the SGPC as Sant Bhindranwale’s memorial is in the Golden Temple complex.
November 06, 2019
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