FATEHGARH SAHIB, Punjab—The decision to hold the oath ceremony at Chappar Chiri has sparked controversy among the Sikh masses. Sukhbir Singh deemed Chappar Chiri as a fitting venue for his father to take the oath, but many have dubbed the overture by the Badals as mere ploys against the Sikh Nation.
The historical site of Chappar Chiri holds special significance to the Sikh religion. This is the site where Baba Banda Singh Bahadur led the Sikh forces to victory against Wazir Khan, commander of the Mughal army. Despite being outnumbered, the Sikh forces killed Wazir Khan and defeated the Mughal forces to capture Sirhand.
The victory of Chappar Chiri led to the Khalsa Uprising and is seen as one of the most eminent victories by the Sikh Forces of all time. It is being deemed that the true reason that Parkash Badal chose the site of Chappar Chiri to take his oath was to please the Sikh community, but the past of the notorious anti-Sikh politician displays no relation to the Sikh Commander Baba Banda Singh Bahadur who established Khalsa Raj in Punjab.
It is without a doubt that in past decades, Parkash Badal has worked only for his own vested interests, without holding any accord for Sikh values and beliefs. Although initially the Akali Dal was setup to represent the Sikh community, it is now widely acknowledged that the Shiromani Akali Dal under the leadership of Parkash and Sukhbir no longer caters to the Sikh community—rather its agenda is now changed and it has aligned with the right wing fascist Bhartiya Janta Party.
During this past election campaign, the Shiromani Akali Dal failed to raise any key issues to the Sikh community and the Punjabi people. Issues such as illegal distribution of Punjab’s waters and return of Chandigarh failed to find a place in the Akali Dal’s election agenda. Furthermore, its promise to seek the release of many innocent Sikhs from Indian jails has also fallen short as expected.