SGPC Head Approves Akal Takht’s Decision to Pardon Dera Sauda Head

SGPC Head Approves Akal Takht’s Decision to Pardon Dera Sauda Head

By: Perneet Singh From the Tribune News Service

Akal Takht decision to pardon Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh over the attire row has left the Sikh community divided. Even as the SGPC has acknowledged the Sikh clergy’s move to pardon Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for his alleged blasphemous act of impersonating Guru Gobind Singh, the Sant Samaj has called a crucial meeting in Ludhiana on September 28 to discuss what it has termed a “serious situation in the community”.

The Sikh high priests have come under fire from Sikh organisations like American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) and Sikh intellectuals who feel that the move has eroded the authority of the Akal Takht.
There is also a sentiment in the Sikh circles that the mounting pressure on the state government over the screening of dera chief’s movie MSG2 acted as a trigger for the Sikh clergy’s decision.

Talking to The Tribune, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said, “The Akal Takht is supreme and we always accept the decisions taken by it. I also urge the Sikh community to accept it.”

Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Khalsa, who also heads the Sant Samaj, said they would deliberate on the issue in their meeting at Gurdwara Gur Gyan Parkash near Ludhiana on Monday.

He said that the proper procedure was not adopted to grant pardon to the dera chief, which has created a “serious situation in the community”.

He said that no Sikh organisation was taken in the loop while deciding on the issue which has led to confusion among the Sikh Sangat.
Similarly, the United Akali Dal has also called a meeting of Sikh organisations over the issue here on Sunday.
Former Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti said, “The dera chief has offered no apology or regret. On the contrary, he is denying the charge. If he didn’t do anything, then why was the edict issued against his dera?”

He recalled that in 2007 too, he had not apologised for it. He said any decision in this regard should have been taken by taking Sikh organisations and intellectuals into confidence.

The American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (AGPC) questioned the acceptance of the “so-called apology” of the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda in a hush-hush manner by the Akal Takht.

The AGPC also stated that so many lives were lost over the issue and now, he has been granted pardon despite him not tendering an apology.

Read More: The Tribune

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