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Described as terrorist: Punjabi University to remove ‘Bhindranwale content’ after SGPC objects

“Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale has been described as a terrorist in the syllabus of MA political science. This unacceptable language is found in the Punjabi medium book of MA political science (fourth semester syllabus)," SGPC president Advocate Harjinder Singh said.

Described as terrorist: PAU to remove ‘Bhindranwale content’ after SGPC objectsSikh leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale giving a speech at a gathering in Chandigarh in 1982. (Express Archive)

After Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) took strong objection to a part of the Punjabi University’s MA political science syllabus which mentions Sikh leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale as a terrorist, the university immediately swung into action to make amends for the mistake by deciding to remove the content and launching a probe into it.

The syllabus-based book is published by the university’s Distance Education Department.

“I came to know about the objectionable content. We will remove it and launch a probe into how it became part of the syllabus,” said Satnam Singh Sandhu, head of Distance Education Department of Punjabi University, Patiala.

Earlier, taking exception to the derogatory content, SGPC president Advocate Harjinder Singh said, “Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale has been described as a terrorist in the syllabus of MA political science. This unacceptable language is found in the Punjabi medium book of MA political science (fourth semester syllabus). From page 26 onwards of the Punjabi University book starting with chapter titled ‘Punjab De Sikh Jangju Andolan Da Vishleshan’ (Analysis of Sikh Militant Movement in Punjab), Bhindranwale has been targeted and the curriculum contains many more controversial information about the Sikh struggle. In view of the seriousness of the matter I have ordered to take action. We have written a letter to the V-C of Punjabi University and the department concerned asking them to make amends for the insulting content.”

Harjinder Singh said, “This is nothing but an expression of the university’s anti-Punjab and anti-Sikh mindset which could endanger the state’s peaceful atmosphere.” He said, “Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was a Qaumi Shaheed, declared martyr by Sri Akal Takht Sahib. He fought for the rights of Sikhs and Punjab, and was martyred in a clash with the Army during Operation Blue Star. Legal action would be taken against the university if it doesn’t change the content and apologise.”

First published on: 14-07-2022 at 08:27:24 am
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