TENS OF THOUSANDS ATTEND ARDAS SAMAGAM AT LAKHNAUR SAHIB – 7 JANUARY 2015 WILL BE PROTEST DAY
2 January 2015 – Showing solidarity with the campaign to free Sikh prisoners languishing in Indian jails, tens of thousands attended the Ardas Samagam on 1 January 2015 at Gurdwara Lakhnaur Sahib. The campaign was initiated by Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, who has been on an indefinite hunger strike for 50 days legitimately and peacefully demanding to free those Sikhs who are confined behind bars having already completed their legal sentences.
During the Diwaan, Panthic Parcharak Baba Ranjit Singh Khalsa Dhadrianwale said Bhai Gurbaksh Singh was one person at Lakhnaur Sahib on the first day of his hunger strike, but due to righteous demands, such demands being accepted by Akaal Purakh, now 49 days later there was no place to sit at the historic Gurdwara Sahib. The unprecedented gathering has shown the highest point in support yet since the commencement of the campaign, and therefore positive signs of the build-up of momentum on the ground-level.
The Khalsa Panth has a lot power, but at this moment in time that power and energy is divided. In situations like this where the issue isn’t only about Bhai Gurbaksh Singh, but about the nation as a whole, each and every Sikh must rise above their groups to make a sincere unified stance. Amongst other topics to raise awareness about the campaign, answers to doubts about whether or not such a hunger strike is the right way forward for Sikhs were discussed. During the Diwaan, Baba Ranjit Singh Khalsa said that apart from a handful, those in politics worship votes, not the Guru. Saying they are in no way making ‘heated statements’ but simply reiterating the obvious facts known by Sikhs worldwide, if even now after almost 50 days of being on hunger strike the Government does not take action, in the event if something was to happen to Bhai Gurbaksh Singh, handling the Khalsa Panth will become difficult.
Bhai Gurbaksh Singh’s health has been deteriorating in recent days, but nevertheless he not only was present for the entire Diwaan, but also spoke at length about his cause. Bhai Sahib personally thanked the thousands who attended, thanked the highly supportive Sikhs in the diaspora and the Sikh media closely covering the campaign. Bhai Sahib said Baba Ranjit Singh Khalsa, who has ‘Panthic Dharadh’ at heart, created awareness on every stage at every single one of their Diwaans since Bhai Sahib requested and entrusted them with the task on 1 December. Bhai Sahib confirmed they had been receiving regular ground-level reports of Baba Ranjit Singh Khalsa’s awareness creating efforts, speaking openly about the cause. Bhai Sahib said that by doing the Diwaan at the Ardas Samagam, Baba Ranjit Singh Khalsa had raised the campaign to a new level. Bhai Sahib thanked them for coming , pointing out it is a well known fact that due to the very busy Parchar schedule, generally there is a waiting list of around one year in advance for a confirmed booking, but it is believed the Lakhnaur Sahib Diwaan was arranged as a matter of urgency by rescheduling in only a few days.
Bhai Gurbaksh Singh said the campaign must be kept peaceful at all costs in order to avoid interference by those looking for any excuse to disrupt its progress. Bhai Sahib said there is no gain with “Zindabad Murdabad”, but Sikhs must join with Shabad Guru and that is the way forward. Furthermore, Bhai Sahib declared that he will not leave Lakhnaur Sahib and the Government can kill him and take his body from there. He also put on record that Gurpreet Singh Guri will continue the hunger strike if he was to die during the campaign.
Going forward, Bhai Sahib has requested Sikhs to raise their voice against the injustices by carrying black flags on a day of protest declared to be Wednesday 7 January 2015.
Baba Ranjit Singh Khalsa, who firmly reiterated their pledge to support this just cause, said that because Bhai Gurbaksh Singh has initiated this campaign, no one should arrange any programme or plan of action on their own accord, but maintain unity by following the directions of Bhai Gurbaksh Singh only.
Bibi Navneet Kaur Bhullar, wife of Bhai Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, also attended the Ardas Samagam and addressed the congregation requesting them to join her in prayer to bless Bhai Sahib with high spirits and success. Amongst others, Bhai Lakha Singh’s father, Bhai Varyam Singh’s son and Bhai Gurmeet Singh’s mother also attended.
Countless vehicles were parked within five to six acres of land, but due to the Diwaan being held within a Gurdwara as opposed to a marquee within open fields, the Darbar Sahib, Langar hall, each and every part of the Gurdwara premises and even the roof tops were over-filled with the thousands in attendance, easily in excess of a confirmed minimum of at least 50,000 people.
Those in India who wish to support the cause should do so by creating awareness in their towns and villages, then visiting Gurdwara Lakhnaur Sahib in large numbers to show solidarity and continue to build upon the momentum from the Ardas Samagam.