NEW DELHI—Meeting between former Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Manjit Singh GK and Union Home Minister of India Amit Shah has become the talk of the town amongst the Sikh segments.
The meeting was held at the residence of Shah in New Delhi, a photograph of which was shared by GK on his social media handles with its caption reading, “Manjit Singh GK holding meeting with Amit Shah on various Panthik issues”.
As the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) had snapped ties with the BJP over farm laws, Shah’s meeting with the head of one of the splinter Akali groups holds importance in terms of the future of the Akali politics in Punjab and Delhi where Sikhs have a considerable population.
As the SAD (Badal) is keeping distance from the BJP-led union government at present, the meeting can be seen as the centre’s effort to get in touch with the Akalis who are rivals of Badal family, and vice-versa. In such a situation, the union government would like to keep any of the Akali factions in its hands. Actually, it has not bothered the move of SAD (B) keeping in view of the fact that the SAD (B) has lost credibility in the Sikh masses.
On the other hand, some Sikh intellectuals are expressing that completing boycotting the union government will not be in the interests of Sikhs and Punjab. So, they say, there is nothing wrong in the meeting with the Shah who is the most powerful in the government of India, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Divulging the discussion held in the meeting, GK said he raised many demands concerning Sikhs, which are as follow:
- Give respite to the farmers of Punjab by initiating dialogue with them.
- Raise memorial of Sri Guru Teg Bahadar Sahib on India gate lawn of Lal Qila ground in wake of his 400th Parkash Gurpurb (birth anniversary) next year.
- Reopen Kartarpur corridor which was closed due to Covid-19 outbreak.
- Retain elected senate as government body of Punjab University of Chandigarh as it is being apprehended that the Centre is taking full control of the university by dissolving the senate, that will hit interests of Punjab.
- Hand over Gurdwara Gian Godri Sahib, Haridwar, and Gurdwara Dangmar Sahib, Sikkim, to the Sikh sangat.
- Don’t show leniency in case of Sikh genocide against Congress leader Kamal Nath and Jagdish Tytler.
- Record witnesses of journalist Sanjay Suri and Manager Mukhtiar Singh in the case against Kamal Nath.
- Recognize Punjabi as the second official language of Jammu and Kashmir.
- The facilities being availed by Kashmir Pandits in Jammu and Kashmir, should also be given to Sikhs living in the state-turned-union territory.