In Punjab, the tussle between Sikhs and the followers of Sacha Sauda (the Chief of the sect is Gurmeet Ram Rahim) has snowballed into a major controversy and the diktat by Akal Takht (Sikhs’ supreme leaders) that the Sauda must pack up and leave Punjab has the potential to intensify the conflict.
The last week has witnessed much of violence and loss of valuable time and property. Wheras the grievances of both the communities may not be misplaced, it is time for the religious leaders to rise above the mundane issues and provide healing touch. Sikhism has been a great religion and the supreme leaders (Akal takht and SGPC) must display the same tenets instead of asking the followers of other sect to “bundle up and leave”! Similarly, Sacha Sauda must also come upto the expectations of the Sikhs and send out a message of brotherhood and camaraderie.
Malcolm Forbes said: “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” As per protagonists of religions, same logic applies to religion (though rationalists think contrary to this).
PS: As of May 23, the conflict continues and SGPC is insistent that the Dera must pack up and move out of the Punjab by May 27. Queried about the legality of the Akal Takht’s hukumnama, or edict, seeking closure of all dera properties by May 27, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said he was “ignorant” of laws or the constitution.
Now this is highly unfortunate and many Sikhs , I am sure, will not agree with what SGPC is saying. It seems these days religious institutions play politics instead if minding the religion! What Dera or its Chief did -that reportedly hurt Sikhs’ sentiments – was unfortunate. What SGPC is doing is equally unpalatable! Last, but not the least, the efforts by Swami Agnivesh to lead an all-religion delegation to end this tussle is appreciated.