Gurdwaras are supposed to remain open on all hours of the day. One gurdwara in Bath village, however, remains locked for most part. This is after a Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book, was allegedly desecrated on October 16 last year.
The village has four gurdwaras. Though none of them have any historical importance and thus have no name, the one close to the link road connecting the village to Khadoor Sahib will go down as the one where the incident happened and thereafter, kicked up a political storm in the state.
“We keep the gurdwara locked whenever I have to go outside. The police administration has asked to take such measures for its safety after the desecration was reported,” said Baba Sukhdev Singh, priest at the gurdwara.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal visited Bath village as part of his Sangat Darshan programme in the last week of November 2015. He, however, didn’t visit this gurdwara. He, reportedly, did not mention the gurdwara in his address either .
Representations made to him for constructing a 200 meter cemented road to connect the gurdwara to the link road was not met. The CM also granted Rs 32 lakh for other roads in the village.
“During his visit, I had asked the CM for the road and money for constructing a langar hall (community kitchen) inside the gurdwara. The CM said he would ask the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) to assist us financially for the langar hall,” said Sukhdev Singh Thekedar, Akali Dal leader from the village. Till date, no SGPC member has visited the gurdwara.
The only addition to the gurdwara after the episode were the new CCTV cameras, installed with the help of an NRI whose name the priest could not recall.
“The biggest problem is that there is no drainage system in village. There have been four ponds and three of them have been badly stinking. We had demanded money to clean these ponds. At least Rs 20 lakh is required for the same. Besides, we had asked CM to allow the village to drain its sewerage water in the nearest drain to village,” said Sukhdev Singh.”
“We had asked for a system to dispose sewage water and assistance cleaning of water ponds. We didn’t get any money for the same,” Kesar Singh, sarpanch of the village. “Even the demand for an MBBS doctor at the village dispensary was not met. We could not get anything from the government except for the ones that someone already decided for us like a gym and a cremation ground.”
Villagers are tight-lipped on the politics around the desecration episode. No political leader was allowed to speak at the bhog organised here after the incident.