AMRITSAR SAHIB— Before getting into the questions I want to clarify to readers that I believe the Sikhs in Haryana have every right to form a separate Committee – however I believe we should question whether this is a smart move and the potential motives behind it.
Here are important questions (and answers) everyone should know:
Q: Why does this formation come ahead of Haryana elections?
A: The Congress party is using the situation as a mechanism to capture Sikh votes in the upcoming election in Haryana. The Congress party of India has been trying to interfere in the lives of Sikhs for 40 years. From refusing to grant equal rights to Sikhs via the Anandpur Sahib resolution, the state-sponsored attacks on Sikhs in June and November of 1984, to the political manipulation of today.
Q: Akal Takht Jathedar offered Haryana Sikhs more autonomy within the SGPC framework, why didn’t they accept?
A: The formation of the Haryana Committee was being planned by Congress and its supporters for years. They have no willingness to discuss issues in good faith – their mind was already made up.
Q: There is a separate committee in Delhi – how has that helped Sikhs?
A: It hasn’t – Delhi has consistently tried to undermine Akal Takht Sahib on Panthik stances. Examples can be seen with Sarna’s support of heretic Raagi Darshan and the refusal to create a memorial for 1984 victims. Is this the type of representation we want from another committee?
Q: What about the flaws within SGPC and its administration?
A: The SGPC has many flaws, but during a time when Sikh values and institutions are being attacked on multiple fronts, the answer isn’t to throw away the system. Did Kejriwal address the flaws in the Indian Government by creating a separate country? No – he created a party based on the values of rooting out corruption and nepotism and worked within the framework to address the shortcomings.
Q: Why didn’t Akal Takht honor the request of Haryana Committee founders for a 10 day delay before appearing at Akal Takht?
A: Haryana Committee founders were not willing to have a discussion – the 10 day delay request was a political stunt designed to buy time while the Congress party acted.