Op/Ed – Sarbjeet Singh Dhunda has been in the limelight for quite some time now. Like one of the main controversial speakers of the decade – Gurbaksh Singh “Kala Afghana”, Dhunda too holds similar views on meditation of “Waheguru mantar”, authenticity of Sri Dasam Granth, Hemkunt Sahib, reincarnation and other Sikh beliefs.
Sarabjit Singh Dhunda is a native of village Dhunda near Tarn Taaran Sahib and received his religious education from the Gurmat Gyan Missionary College Ludhiana, starting in 1997. Dhunda states that before his enrollment at the Gurmat Gyan Missionary College, he was living a life of an ignorant Sikh. After his graduation, Dhunda, along with other students of his batch started touring Punjab and neighboring states as katha vachaks and organized small camps in villages and school. They however failed to create much impact and until Dhunda was finally spotted by Delhi Shiromani Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) led by Paramjit Singh Sarna, who has previously supported controversial speakers like Veer Bhupinder Singh, Prof. Darshan Singh and others.
Coming Into the Limelight
Dhunda started gaining popularity after he was installed to do katha daily from Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. The live broadcast of daily programs allowed him to spread his ideology to the masses. When he was just establishing himself, Dhunda spent much of his time talking about social issues and refrained from touching any controversial topics.
Sarbjeet Singh Dhunda was promoted heavily by the DSGMC and although no proof exists, many argue that Dhunda was supported by Congress in New Delhi (The Congress Party in Delhi is close to the Sarna brothers). Associates of the DSGMC are responsible for organizing many of Dhunda’s international tours, including his on-going tour of California and recently held UK tour.
Support by anti-Sikh Elements and Heretic Preachers
Paramjit Sarna is also responsible for supporting and fostering other controversial figures such as Gurbaksh ‘Kala Afghana’, Prof. Darshan Singh, Chamanjit ‘Singh’ Lal, Veer Bhupinder Singh and others. Sarna’s background is known to Sikhs living worldwide. He comes with a big support of many top-notch Congress leaders, including Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar, Capt. Amarinder Singh and others.
Since his enrollment at the Gurmat Gyan Missionary College, Sarbjeet Singh Dhunda’s sangat has included many controversial figures including Sukhwinder Singh Sabhra (Santa De Kautak), Harjinder Singh Sabhra (kathakar), Gurbachan Singh Thailand, Inder Singh Ghagga and others.
Controversial Views of Sarbjeet Singh Dhunda
Although at first glance, he may seem like a thought provoking and logical preacher, Dhunda is known to be a mischievous talker who rejects the key fundamentals of Sikhi. Dhunda gives very clever responses when asked about controversies and often misquotes Gurbani to suit his agenda. Just like other controversial speakers, Dhunda too has backtracked on his original stance of Jaap Sahib. Although he initially tried to ‘expose’ Jaap Sahib, seeing the wrath of Sikh Sangat, he had to change his stance.
Dhunda tries to provide a modern ‘logical’ argument against spiritual state of being. He has degraded respectful Gursikhs such as Baba Deep Singh by questioning if he really sacriﬁced his head and Bhai Taru Singh by challenging the occurrences of his martyrdom.
Some other views of Dhunda that have caused him to face fury of International Sangat include –
1) Real naam Simran is truthful earning (kirt karni) and continuous recitation of Waheguru Jaap is manmat.
2) Ishnaan of Sri Harmandir Sahib is not necessary
3) Hemkunt Sahib should not be related to the life of Guru Gobind Singh Ji
4) Sikh National Anthem “Deh Siva Bar Mohe lhai” was not written by Guru Gobind Singh Ji
5) Refuses to accept authenticity of Sri Dasam Granth
As more people have become aware of Dhunda’s anti-Sikh parchar, more and more panthik stages including Gurdwara Sahib Fremont have cancelled programs while other gurdwaras such as Hayward have invited him instead. Gurdwaras such as Hayward have refused to follow Panthik decisions in the past including an unwillingness to reserve tables and chairs for only those with medical conditions.
Dhunda often speaks against ‘karam kaand’ and puts down ‘sant babas’ to gain support from wider sangat, but he is scheduled to speak at Gurdwara Sahib Selma (Sikh Center of Pacific Coast), which is much under Hindutva influence. The committee of the same Gurdwara is known to have invited a Hindu priest to lay down the foundation stone of the new Gurdwara building. The same committee celebrates the ‘barsi’ of Raja Nabh Kamal while Dhunda himself is against celebrating barsis.