Interview with Badal on HSGMC Issue

Punjab CM Badal

—Punjab chief minister Parkash Badal talks to Robin David and Rohan Dua about the controversial issue of a separate gurdwara management body in Haryana. 

Q: You have personally taken charge of the fight against the formation of HSGMC. It seems to be an emotional issue. 

A. See, there is no issue here. It has been manufactured. It is a big conspiracy. The SGPC Act was created in 1925. So many years have passed and there is no change. Even the Central government had not allowed any change in the past. That includes Manmohan Singh. 

Q: What is the first step in the fight? 

We are now having a meeting on 27th (July). Everything will be decided on that day. But one thing is very clear – that I would like to go there, whatever the programme is, whatever the agitation or the struggle. Because of the history of our struggles, I have always gone first and I am the last man to leave. Sometimes, I have even stayed in jail for three years. 

Q: There is talk of you returning to the Dharam Yudh Morcha days. 

You may call it morcha, you may call it struggle you may call it anything. But this is just to fight the grave injustice by the Congress government. We have nothing against any person or people of Haryana or the Sikhs of Haryana. It is not a matter of Punjab, Haryana or UP. It is a matter that concerns every Sikh, or every person that knows the background of the issue and how SGPC came into being. Whether it was the Mughals, or the British or the Congress government, all of them tried to have control over the shrines of Punjab. Because they think it is a source of strength for us. Even during the British period, the mahants or agents of the government used these shrines as their personal property. They did such bad thins that the community could not digest that. About 30,000 people courted arrest and hundreds of people were killed before the British accepted our demand for SGPC. Even at that time, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru had called it our first victory in the battle for freedom. Nehru was even arrested in the Jaity Morcha. 

Q: You are protesting against HSGMC but there are different bodies running gurdwaras in Delhi, Nanded, Patna… 

That is a separate issue. In Delhi, the Central government had given the control to its own agents. But then we had a morcha. I was arrested. Many others were also arrested and then we had a separate body. The Sikh community is the only community in the world where shrines like gurdwaras are managed in a democratic way. Everything was going on smoothly. Suddenly, Hooda and Sonia Gandhi decided to do this. 

Q: Can there be a move to bring Nanded Sahib and Patna Sahib under SGPC? 

No, no no… The existing systems will continue. We want a unified SGPC, because the people see it as a parliament of the Sikhs. 

Q: Many people feel the SAD is slowly going back to its Panthik agenda. 

What do you mean Panthik agenda? What is the agenda before the Khalsa Panth? To fight against injustice and tyranny, not just for one’s self but for others as well. We are not just for Sikhs. We have a prayer in which we pray for ‘Sarbat da bhala’ (well-being of the entire universe). 

Q: Why have SGPC men taken control of Haryana’s gurdwaras? 

This is not true. We won all the seats in Haryana during the SGPC elections. And those people, those so-called leaders, their security was forfeited. That Jhinda and Nalvi, I have never even seen them. 

Q: Many of your political leaders have also gone there. 

They go there to visit. 

Q: What do you say about the excommunication of HSGMC leaders? 

There is a system. Even Maharaja Ranjit Singh was called to the Akal Takht and he went there as a humble devotee. Any person who does wrong is called there. But these people never went there. But you can ask this from the Akal Takht. I don’t want to comment any more. 

Q: Do you feel the excommunication was fair? 

I don’t want to comment on this. 

Q: Tell us a little bit about your meeting with Narendra Modi on the issue. 

We have put forward our stand. They have gone by the legal view. The attorney general has given his opinion and only then they have acted. 

Q: Since you are fighting the battle against the HSGMC, is it that Sukhbir Badal will become the chief minister? 

Whatever the party decides. I can take the decision for myself. . I have always obeyed what the party says. But one thing I really want to say is that peace and communal harmony should be kept. I have fought hard for this.


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