Sikh Groups: Ayodhya Verdict Distorts Sikh History

An article in an online magazine has shed some light on the evidence related to Sikhs presented to the Supreme Court in the Ayodhya verdict. The verdict according to Sikh groups distorts Sikh history.

As it attempted to sort out a century-old Hindu-Muslim issue with its 1045-page judgment on the Ayodhya land dispute, the Supreme Court has inadvertently riled Sikhs. It has described their religion as a ‘cult’ and seems to have relied on the testimony of someone who Sikhs believe has “misinterpreted the purpose of Guru Nanak Dev’s visit to Ayodhya in 1510-1511”.

The court relied on the testimony of one Rajinder Singh, ‘a person having interest in the study of religious, cultural and historical books of Sikh cult’ who had been fielded as a witness by Hindu parties to strengthen their claim to the disputed site.

The apex court further noted on Rajinder Singh’s evidence, “In his examination-in-chief, he has referred to several books about Sikh cult and history.”

The Kendri Guru Singh Sabha in Chandigarh has publicly criticised the judgment and described it as an “affront” to the Sikh community. “The court has called us a ‘cult’ — a word which bears a definite negative connotation. The learned judges should have consulted experts before doing so,” said professor Gurdarshan Singh Dhillon, a Sikh historian associated with the Sabha.

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