How do you want the attack dealt with?
We have demanded a CBI inquiry. We were not satisfied with what the government has done so far. We have not blamed anyone; from our side, no names have been taken. Some persons have claimed responsibility and certain things are very clear, yet no action was taken against them… On May 30, we submitted a memorandum demanding a CBI inquiry at the offices of deputy commissioners across Punjab. The other side can give whatever statements they want to. They can say they want to smash our faces but we will not get into that. We can talk logic but not about smashing faces.
Is it true that you and Damdami Taksal in a clash of ideologies?
No. It is not about Taksal or a jathebandi. It is about bad elements in the jathebandi. What is now being portrayed is that two groups are fighting each other, but one thing has to be appreciated, that one group is the attacker and the other the sufferer. For the last week or so, there has been an attempt to equate the two. People of the government along with some jathedars of the Akal Takht are trying to portray a balance… that these two fight each other and then a compromise can be arranged. They can use the takdi [scales, which is also the Akali election symbol] but the takdi should be of justice.
Do you think this equating is linked to your joining the protests after desecration of gurdwaras?
Look, I cannot talk about this as I don’t know what their deep conspiracies are. Only they can talk about what is in their minds. But it is clear that there is a deliberate attempt to portray a clash between two groups… We are quiet after the attack. A citizen is attacked in such a way and they are trying to equate him with the attackers. Now it is being said that we have also fired at the other group from within the vehicles. And that this fire was returned.
You have asked for arms licences after turning down an offer of security.
We have asked for licences for eight to ten people under the existing rules. But it is being wrongly portrayed that we are trying to raise an army. We don’t want security. We go around preaching truth and cannot do so in an atmosphere of fear. It does not go with my thinking, though. I don’t like this, I don’t want that one should sit on stage with gun-toting people around. But this is necessity of the times and there is pressure from the sangat.
Political parties including the Punjab CM and Arvind Kejriwal have visited you.
All of them have expressed sympathy for me. Now what is in their mind, only they know. From our side we have not associated with any political party nor do we plan to.
There have been songs making fun of you over the big cars you use.
As far as cars go, we need them for preaching. Followers feel there should be a good car at our disposal. Had we used those for fun it would have been wrong, but if we use them for preaching religion it isn’t wrong. It was because I was in a big car that I could escape the attack unhurt. It helped a lot.
There are also allegations of a flashy lifestyle.
This is a matter of opinion. As Guru ka Sikh if people look on us as role models, there is nothing wrong. If one looks nice or wears a good turban and youngsters get motivated, I find nothing wrong in that. Many youngsters tie their turban looking at me and I don’t think this is wrong. But as far as the chamak damak of this dera is concerned, all property is in the name of the Guru Granth Sahib, it is not my personal property nor will it ever be.