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No apology, please!!! Send criminal Baba behind bars
Submitted by dsgill on Thu, 2007-06-21 09:15.

No apology, please!!!
Send criminal Baba behind bars
Khalsa Action Committee must act

Sikhism is a religion that began in fifteenth century in Northern India with the teachings of Guru Nanak and nine successive human Sikh gurus. This system of religious philosophy and expression has been traditionally known as the Gurmat. Sikhism comes from the word Sikh, which literally means a "disciple" or a "learner." Sikhism is the fifth-largest religion in the world, and is generally considered the fifth largest organized religion. The followers of Sikhism are ordained to follow the teachings of the ten Sikh gurus as well as the Holy Scripture- the Gurū Granth Sāhib. The text was decreed by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru, as the final Guru of the Khalsa Panth. Sikhism's traditions and teachings are distinctly associated with the history, society and culture of the Punjab.

Adherents of Sikhism are known as Sikhs (students or disciples) and count number over 23 million across the world. However, most Sikhs live in the state of Punjab in India; prior to partition, millions of Sikhs lived in what is now the Punjab province of Pakistan. Sikh religious philosophy has roots in the religious traditions of northern India. The Sant Mat traditions are fundamental to the teachings of Sikhism's founder, Guru Nanak. Especially important to the connection with Sikhism were the teachings of some of the saints such as Ravidas and Kabir.

The evolution (revelation) of Nanak's thoughts on the basis of his own experiences and study has also given Sikhism a distinctly unique feature. Scholars have presented Sikhism as a distinct faith. Khalsa is the name given by Guru Gobind Singh to all Sikhs who have been baptised or initiated by taking ammrit in a ceremony called ammrit sañcār. The first time that this ceremony took place was on Vaisakhi, which fell on 30 March 1699 at Anandpur Sahib in India. It was on that occasion that Gobind Singh baptised the Pañj Piārē who in turn baptised Guru Gobind Singh.

There are some groups of Sikhs such as the Namdharis, Ravidasis and Udasis which do not adhere to the mainstream principles followed by most Sikhs. Some of these groups may not consider themselves a part of Sikhism, although from an outsider's perspective similarities in beliefs and principles may firmly render them a part of the Sikh religious domain. Groups such as the Nirankaris, now Radhaswamis, under the guise of "Sacha Sauda" premis have a history of bad relations with mainstream Sikhism, and are considered outcasts by the Sikhs.

Of late, "Sacha Sauda" dera chief Gurmit Singh has committed a criminal act under section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code while attiring and equating himself as Guru Gobind Singh, thus outraging the religious feelings and beliefs of the world-wide Sikh community. Almost all news channels tried to provide people with the latest updates on this issue, but what was unfortunate was that most often one could see either incorrect or incomplete information, or a politically influenced or a biased view on these electronic media channels. Many national and regional channels in India came up with their own interpretations of this episode.

This is not an issue of Akalis going for revenge, anyone in power would not ask for the trouble. This is definitely a case of Sikh sentiments being hurt whereas certain channels have been saying: "It is fight over faith between the Dera and the Akali Sikhs." And it is totally false. It is a fight between Sikhs and the mislead Dera premis (followers). The wrath of Sikh people has been provoked by the Dera baba who had tried to imitate the tenth Master of the Sikhs. All said and done, it was a criminal act for which a Bathinda court had issued arrest warrants against the so-called Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh, accused of hurting Sikh religious sentiments.

Meanwhile, trying to end the stand-off with Sikhs, the Dera chief has issued a fresh letter of apology for his alleged blasphemous act. The letter, the second in a month, has reached the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee and a sealed one to Akal Takht jathedar. According to DSGMC president Paramjit Singh Sarna, the Baba, in unsigned letter, had again apologised to Guru Gobind Singh and the community.

It is a seer mockery of law and a failure of the government which did not arrest him when the offence was committed. The inaction of the government is encouraging sectarian violence. That was why the rowdy elements, the so-called Dera Sacha Sauda premis had dared the stoning of some Sikh Gurdwaras, thus provoking the wrath of Sikh people world wide.

It is really intriguing that Badal has tamed Sikh clergy both from Sikh Takhts, including Akal Takht, and certain so-called babas from the Sant Samaj. The latest move through Paramjit Singh Sarna seems to be a trap aimed at frustrating the legal process of arresting the criminal baba and canceling or postponing the proposed Sikh protest march from Gurdwara Zafarnama Sahib, Dina Kangar to Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo, in Bathinda on June 24.

The show (of community's strength- the June 24 protest march) must go on and the fake baba and criminal must face the music (until now, Baba is law unto himself); the apology notwithstanding! The fate of the Khalsa Action Committee (KAC) is at the stake!! Be brave and act to protect the human rights of your community and to secure the rule of law by sending the criminal baba behind the bars!!!

Advocate Chairman IHRO
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