NALVI, HARYANA, India (January 22, 2014)—A gratitude program was arranged by Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa in his village Nalvi, Haryana near  Thaska Ali at an open ground this past weekend. Villagers and sangat from near and far came to attend the occasion.

On this occasion, Darbar Sahib kirtan ragis, Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Nagoke, and Baba Ranjit Singh Dhadhrian Wale mesmerized the sangat with their kirtan. Bhai Tarsaem Singh Morianwale sung their dhadi vaaran in the sangat. Bhai Harjeet Singh, Chandigarh assisted as stage secretary.

On this Occasion, NRI S. Zorawar Singh honored Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa and Jathedar Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara’s sister with a gold medal.

Apart from the main festivities, Bhai Gurmeet Singh and Mata Bibi Surjeet Kaur, as well as Bhai Shamsher Singh’s wife, Bibi Baljinde Kaur (both released from jail on parole) were given mementos and robes of honour.

Sangat from Italy, England, and Canada supported this event. Chandigarh Joint Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee’s Chairman S. Naeb Singh, Vice Chairman S. Tara Singh,  General Secretary S. Harjit Singh, and Gurdwara sector 45 chief S. Jaswinder Singh offered Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa a ₹51,000 cheque on behalf of the gurdwara committee.

One Sikh from England gifted Bhai Khalsa a white horse brought from Hazoor Sahib, which also became the centre of attention during the program.

Shri Akal Takht Sahib Head Granthi, Bhai Gurmukh Singh and head of Panj Singh Sahiban, Bhai Satnam Singh marked their presence. From Mohali, under the supervision of Bhai Gurpreet Singh Khalsa, Shaheed Baba Deep Singh gatka team performed there.

During the hunger strike by Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa at Gurdwara Amb Sahib  to release Sikhs from prison, he established  the Bandi Singh Rihai Morcha (Protest Organisation to Release Imprisoned Sikhs) whose main members were absent at this program. Similarly, Sri Akal Takht Sahib appointed Jathedar  Giani Gurbachan Singh, Takht Shri Kesgarh Sahib Jathedar Giani Mal Singh, and Delhi Gurdwara committee members were absent on this occasion.

When asked about their absense, representatives of Bandi Singh Rihai Morcha S. Harpal Singh Cheema and Bhai R.P. Singh said that this matter is still unresolved with the pending parole hearings for the released Sikhs, so they could not make yet mark any gratitude for a victory.

Bhai Sukhwinder Singh from Ratwada Sahib also gave a vague answer about his absence and Shiromani committee member, Bhai Gurpreet Singh from Sri  Fatehgarh Sahib said he has a lot of other Panthik work to do and this was Bhai Khalsa’s private function.

The absence of major figures from this function, even those whose names were released to news organisations has created suspicion in the Punjabi media. Also the absence of family members of Bhai Lal Singh Akalgarh who came out on parole from Nabha Jail for 42 days and Bhai Lakhwinder Singh Narangwal who was released on parole from Burail Jail for 28 days has added to the controversy.

Daal, chappatis, sweets (Jalebi), and tea were served in the langar. Critics of the function have alleged that some of the people in the langar hall were sitting without covering their head, while at the same time the people serving the langar were wearing slippers while doing so— a violation of Sikh traditions.