AMRITSAR SAHIB—Expressing its serious objections on the resolution adopted by the SGPC to install the portrait of former chief of Shiromani Panth Akali Budha Dal, late Santa Singh Nihang, in the Sikh Central Museum, the Dal Khalsa today urged the head of the Sikh institution to withdraw its resolution.
Notably, Baba Santa Singh courted controversy when he undertook “kar sewa” of the Akal Takht building in 1984 at the instance of the Indira Gandhi government after the top temporal seat was brought to rubble during an unprovoked army attack. Subsequently, he was excommunicated by Jathedar Kirpal Singh and four others from the Sikh Panth on 22-7-1984 for undermining the dignity of Akal Takht.
However, his excommunication was revoked by government appointed Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti in 2001 only after he admitted his sin and accepted the punishment for violating the “Sikh Maryada.” He later died on May 8, 2008.
In a hard hitting letter addressed to SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar, the organization has asked him to explain on what basis the SGPC has decided to install the photo of a person who challenged the supremacy of Akal Takht and violated Sikh Reyat Maryada.
Party head Harcharnjit Singh Dhami, in a communiqué, has asked Makkar to list one single achievement by Santa Singh towards the Sikh Panth for which he was being honoured.
The copy of the letter was also handed over to Gaini Gurbachan Singh at the Akal Takht secretariat apart from Manjit Singh, secretary to SGPC head.
“Despite his [return to the] Sikh fold after remaining excommunicated for 17 years, Santa Singh, in his personal capacity, is disliked by the Sikh community at large,” he pointed out and wondered how his photo could be part of the same museum where “portraits of most revered and distinguished personalities have been installed.”
“It’s ironic that the portrait of a person who ridicule Akal Takht will be placed along aside where portraits of those who sacrificed their lives for the sanctity of Akal Takht were installed,” he rued.
“The SGPC executive meet at Anandpur Sahib on May 3 has given the Sikhs immense happiness as well as pain. We felt happiness because SGPC gave a final consent to implement its 10 years old own resolution to build memorial for 1984 martyrs. At the same time, we felt pain because it took decision to install the portrait of Santa Singh at Sikh Museum,” reads the letter.