Sarbat Khalsa: A big challenge for the Badals. What do leaders say ?

Major reason behind the ousting of four heads priests was their controversial decision to pardon Sirsa Dera Head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
Prior to Sarbat Khalsa held at Chabba near Amritsar on November 10, it was held on Jan. 26, 1986 and called for an independent Khalistan. 

The Sikh clerics headed by Akal Takht Chief Giani Gurbachan Singh have been in lime light after the controversial pardon to Dera Chief over his alleged act of imitating Guru Gobind Singh in 2007, which was later on withdrawn. But despite a revocation of the pardon, the Sikh clerics continue to face the music of the community.

In a gathering of more than one lakh at radical Sarbat Khalsa – congregation of Sikhs – organized by Simranjit Singh Mann led Shiromani Akai Dal (SAD-Amritsar), United Akali Dal, SAD(1920), Sikh Sangharsh Committee and a couple of other radical groups and religious bodies opposed to the ruling SAD of the Badals and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the apex Sikh body that appoints Takht Jathedars.

On the other hand, the SAD as well as the SGPC rejected all resolutions passed at the congregation and the jathedars announce during the gathering wold not get recognition from the Sikh body.

However, the 1986 resolution in Sarbat Khalsa was endorsed for 'Separate Sikh State'

In Hawara's absence, a one time Babba Khalsa militant, who is undergoing life sentence at Burail Jail in Chandigarh, former Lok Sabha MP Dhian Singh Mand was appointed interim jathedar of the Akal Takht and he would he addressing the Sikh community from the Akal Takht on the occasion of Badhi Chhor Diwas (Diwali).

The other removed by the radical Sarbat Khalsa are Gian Mal Singh jathedar of Takht Keshgarh Sahib and Gian Gurmukh Singh, acting jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib and replaced them with Amrik Singh Ajnala and Sikh preacher Baljit Singh Daduwal.

The Sarbat Khalsa also removed Giani Iqbal Singh as jathedar of Takht Patna Sahib without making any appointment as the appointing authority in this case Takht Patna Sahib Management Board and not the SGPC.

The major reason behind the ousting of four heads priests was their controversial decision to pardon Sirsa Dera Head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a blasphemy case – the pardon which was later on revoked.

Among other resolutions passed, Lt Gen KS Brar (Retd.), the Operation Bluestar Commander and KPS Gill, a former DGP as 'tankhaiya – guilty of religious misconduct and directed them to appear before the Akal Takht by November 30 being accused of genocide of Sikhs. 

What the leaders say?
Avtar Singh Makkar, SGPC Chief
The SGPC is the supreme parliament of Sikhs and there is a procedure to appoint Takht jathedars. This gathering has no meaning.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)
The resolutions are an attempt to bring back the mahant system in place of SGPC. Tuesday's show was managed by anti-Panthic forces, including the Congress.

Capt. Amrinder Singh, Congress Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha
Let us not repeat what Badal has done all his life – subverting and destroying sacred institutions of the Sikh community for his vested interests.

Kamal Sharma, BJP Chief Punjab
Making convicted people heads of Sikh institutions such as the Akal Takht is not acceptable.

Frankly speaking, the calling of Sarbat Khalsa have put a big challenge for Badals especially when the political parties have started the countdown for the coming right from now for the coming Assembly Elections in 2017. 
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