26 September 2015, Yuba City California, USA – In a shocking move, the Akal Takht appointed Jathedar has recently accepted a so-called “apology letter” from the self-proclaimed God-man Gurmeet Ram Raheem, chief of the highly controversial Sirsa cult. Sikhs from across the world are in deep fury over the decision given by the appointed Jathedar, on such a sensitive issue, that has been pronounced without the prior consultation of the Khalsa Panth. Sikh organisations from across the world have condemned the move.

Panthic Parcharak Baba Ranjit Singh Khalsa Dhadrianwale has stated they always have and always will be under the supreme authority of Sri Akal Takht Sahib, but in the recent scenario, even if someone were to put a bullet to their head, a sword on their neck, there is no way they will acknowledge this pardon that has simply been read out by its current appointed Jathedar. The nation already knows the edict that has been issued has not come from Sri Akal Takht Sahib, but from Chadigarh or Delhi. The appointed Jathedar has simply read it out, but it has not come from him. That is the truth. Anything within Gurmat protocol will always be accepted, but this is something that cannot even be considered with a clear conscience.

It is notable that in May 2007, Gurmeet Ram Rahim had conducted an infamous activity in an attempt to personify the great Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji.

Speaking during a live broadcast of the large-scale Gurmat Samagam currently taking place in Yuba City California, Baba Ranjit Singh Khalsa said, “The letter is widely being perceived as a clarification by the Sauda Saadh, advocating his innocence as opposed to an apology for acknowledged actions of wrongdoing. He has evidently offered no apology or shown any regret, but on the contrary is denying the events of 2007.”

Certainly our Guru’s protocol is ‘Jo Saran Aavai This Kanth Laavai Eihu Biradh Suaamee Sandhaa’. If one does indeed come as a beggar to the Guru’s door, humbly presents their self in front of Sri Akal Takht Sahib, accepts they have made a mistake, states that mistake, and then declares with folded hands they have come to ask for forgiveness for the stated mistake, then a discussion can take place with the nation whether that individual should be forgiven. If the nation accepts, then it is the Hukam of the Guru that if someone has humbly come with folded hands, accepting their mistake and begging for forgiveness, that person can indeed be pardoned. That would be within Gurmat.

But what has happened in this scenario? The Sauda Saadh has not presented himself in front of Sri Akal Takht Sahib, but merely sent a letter that has no official stamp, nor is it written on an official letterhead of the Dera, and furthermore he has not apologised in it. The Dera chief didn’t admit his guilt; the only two words which make an “apology letter” are the words “Kahima Da Jachak.” It is true if someone has genuinely asked for forgiveness, then a pardon from the Sikh nation can be offered. But how is it that someone who has not even asked for forgiveness be given a clean-chit?

It is unfortunate that the millions of donations coming from the Sangat are misused in legal battles. Even if Gurbani has to be misused, even if the Gurdwara has to be misused and then even if the Akal Takht has to be misused in order to feed their ego and secure their positions of leadership, these people will do it.

Parcharaks like Baba Ranjit Singh Khalsa openly preached against the Dera for many years. The majority of the Dera’s activities were stopped in Punjab, Sikhs did not allow him to enter the state and his movies were prevented from being released. Many of his followers joined the Khalsa Panth and became Amritdhari. These people had the moral support that the Akal Takht leaders were with them. Baba Ranjit Singh Khalsa said they have been reading the news for the last couple of days and they feel ashamed of what is going on. They feel embarrassed that for so many years Parchar has been done against the Sirsa cult to bring the misguided followers back into the Sikh fold, but then suddenly our leaders now decide to embrace the other side. It is not possible to embrace such people.

The meeting of the Jathedars on 24 September 2015 was attended by Giani Gurbachan Singh (Sri Akal Takht Sahib), Giani Mall Singh (Sri Kesgarh Sahib), Giani Iqbal Singh (Sri Patna Sahib), Giani Ram Singh (Sri Hazoor Sahib) and Giani Gurmukh Singh (Sri Damdama Sahib).
The appointed Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib Giani Gurbachan Singh has said that Gurmeet Ram Rahim is pardoned after acceptance of his “apology” and that it was necessary to pardon him to control threats to disruption of peace and harmony across civilians residing in Punjab.

But Baba Ranjit Singh Khalsa has questioned whether before this Hukamnama was read out; did any discussion take place with the mothers and fathers of Bhai Kamaljit Singh, Bhai Harminder Singh Dabwali and Bhai Balkar Singh Mumbai? Was their martyrdom ignored and assumed insignificant?

The leaders know they will easily secure the vote bank of Punjab’s naïve Sikh community, but the question for them has always been on how to secure the vote banks of these cults. Sikhs worldwide are aware that this is what is being resolved. There is no doubt the majority of the Sikh nation worldwide has categorically rejected the so-called “apology” letter.

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