Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh has asked Sikhs to boycott an event to celebrate Guru Gobind Singh’s 350th birth anniversary that is being organised by Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, a branch of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), in New Delhi on October 25.
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have already wished RSS for success of the scheduled function.
RSS claims that one of five Sikh Takhts, Patna Sahib, Bihar, Jathedar Giani Iqbal Singh will preside over the Wednesday function along with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and nine other Union Cabinet ministers. It is yet not clear if Giani Iqbal Singh will accept RSS’s invitation and attend the function.
Quoting its earlier directive issued in 2004, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh on Monday directed the Sikh community not to participate in the function in New Delhi.
Giani Gurbachan Singh on Monday issued a press statement and said, “We cannot allow assimilation of Sikh history into other religion. It cannot be tolerated. Sikhs are a separate community, with separate identity, we have our own unique history. Sikhs never interfere in the religious beliefs, traditions and history of other faiths and they cannot tolerate interference into Sikh religion.”
It further read, “Some media reportage has created confusion. I want to clarify that the 2004 directive issued by the Akal Takht still prevails. I ask Sikhs to follow the directive. I am not going to attend the said function, and also ask Sikhs to follow the 2004 directive and remain aware of misleading propaganda.”
On July 13, 2004, a directive was issued from Akal Takht for all Sikhs to remain cautious about the activities of RSS and its Sikh wing — Rashtriya Sikh Sangat. This directive was issued as both bodies were taking proactive steps to celebrate 400th anniversary of first installation of Guru Granth Sahib in 2004. The activities of both bodies related to anniversary had irked the Akal Takht and Sikhs were told not to cooperate with RSS for any function related to celebrations.
Recently, on October 17, a Ludhiana-based RSS leader Ravinder Gosain was shot dead outside his residence in Ludhiana. Although state police are yet to name any suspect in the case, RSS suspects that the “hate” allegedly created due to “misconceptions” over the 2004 directive could be a reason behind the murder.