Chandigarh/August 26 (NG News)
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday sought direct intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to restrain the Congress led Maharashtra government from arbitrarily reduce the representation of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC), the apex religious body of Sikhs in Takht, Sri Hazur Sahib Board from the existing four to one.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Badal said that Maharashtra government was even denying the membership to the Chief Khalsa Diwan which was earlier represented on the Board.
“This was not an ordinary administrative decision as it concerned the sentiments and religious traditions of Sikh community. This anti-Sikh decision is a part of a deep rooted conspiracy of the Congress to lower the dignity of Sikh religious institutions including the Takht Sri Hazur Sahib and the SGPC,” Badal said.
Badal urged Modi to direct the Maharashtra government to prevent the situation from getting worse and reiterated that Indian government should take appropriate measures for refraining the Congress government from going ahead with this unwarranted dangerous move.
Badal apprised the Prime Minister that the holy Takht Sri Hazur Sahib was one of the five most revered religious institutions, religiously denominated as Takhts (seat of religio-temporal authority) from where the Sikhs get the temporal and spiritual power.
He said that the Management Board of the Takht was constituted under the Takht Sri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib Board Nanded Act, 1956, pursuant upon the demands of the Sikh community to free the Gurdwara Sahib from many anti-Sikh practices adding that the arrangement has lasted peacefully for the past 58 years and never was a need felt for bringing any change in it.
“The other curious aspect of the decision is that while the number of members of the Board has been increased from 17 to 21, the number of representatives of the SGPC, the apex elected religious body of the Sikh, has been curtailed from four to one. This is not only illogical but also prima facie mischievous” Badal added.
The Chief Minister observed that strangely, at the same time, the number of the Maharashtra government nominees has been doubled, one fails to understand the justification for increasing government representation on the Board while reducing the representation of the Sikh Mini-Parliament.
He said that this action of the Maharashtra government was a part of an on-going Congress conspiracy to weaken the Sikh community through attempts to erode the authority of respected Sikh institutions.
He said that the Congress leadership had always tried to either capture the SGPC, the supreme elected body of the Sikhs – also known as the religious mini-Parliament of the Sikhs – or to weaken it through political and governmental interference. The tensions generated by their unwarranted interference in the Sikh religious affairs in Haryana were still raging.
On top of that, the Chief Minister said that the action of the Maharashtra government now was bound to further vitiate the atmosphere as there could be no moral, political or religious justifications for such interference in the religious affairs of a patriotic minority community, the Sikhs.
Badal said that this amounted to a direct interference in the religious affairs of Sikhs and no one could understand what prompted the Maharashtra government to go out its way to weaken the elected mini-Parliament of the Sikhs, the SGPC, with regard to its role in the management of the affairs of the holy Takht, Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded.