SENIOR leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), including former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, party president Sukhbir Singh Badal Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, former cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia and other party MLAs visited the Golden Temple in Amritsar Saturday to seek forgiveness for any mistakes committed ‘knowingly or unknowingly’ during the SAD-BJP combine’s 10-year rule in Punjab.
An Akhand Path was installed at the gurdwara on the premises of the Golden Temple and all the top leaders of party will do volunteer service, such as making langar, cleaning shoes, utensils and floor at Golden Temple till the conclusion of Akhand Path Monday.
Similar practice is followed when the Akal Takht pronounces religious sentence to any Sikh for violating any of the norms mentioned in the Sikh code of conduct.
SAD has made no official statement on the purpose of this collective religious practice, However, Ardas (prayer) to start the Akhand Path mentioned the names of Sukhbir Singh Badal and Parkash Singh Badal and says the party leadership was seeking apology from Guru for any mistakes committed “knowingly or unknowingly” during their 10 years in power.
After the Akhand Path was installed, Harsimrat Kaur Badal and SAD(B) women wing president Bibi Jagir Kaur were seen making chapatis at the community kitchen.
Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Singh Badal and Bikram Singh Majithia, SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal, along with other MLAs and Mps, cleaned shoes at the Jora Ghar (where devotees keep their shoes before entering into the Golden Temple).
Meanwhile, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) member and granddaughter of Master Tara Singh, Kiranjot Kaur also questioned the manner in which party has come forward to seek apology.
Kaur said, “It is clearly mentioned in the Sikh code of conduct that you have to be specific about the mistake for which you are seeking forgiveness. There is no precedent in history what SAD is doing now. They are not admitting to any mistake. In fact, the manner only shows their arrogance. I am the guilty and I am the judge. This is what they suggest.”
Rattan Singh Ajnala, how was recently expelled from SAD, said, “First of all, Badals have not been making it public what mistakes they have committed. Secondly, all the mistakes have been committed by Badal and Majithia family.
Why have both families made the whole party ‘confess’ to mistakes? Why have they have been defaming whole party for their own mistakes? And again they have not appeared at Akal Takht to confess the mistakes. They first committed mistakes and now they have been sentencing themselves.. that too, without mentioning the mistakes publicly. Whenever Akal Takht pronounce religious sentence then that person is made to stand in front of Akal Takht with head and eyes down to earth to hear his or her sentence.”
The Dal Khalsa also lashed out at Akali Dal for allegedly cheating the Sikh sangat.
“Mistakes and sins are two separate things. Akalis have deliberately committed sins by engineering pardon to the Sirsa dera head, shielding guilty cops responsible for killing two Sikh protesters at Behbal Kalan, and seeking votes from ‘Dera premis’ ahead of the previous assembly polls. Portraying all these sins as small mistakes, itself is an another grave blunder on the part of Akalis,” said party spokesman Kanwar Pal Singh.