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Punjab

Panth must stand with farmers: Akal Takht

November 16, 2020 05:41 AM

COURTESY HT NOV 16

Panth must stand with farmers: Akal Takht
Acting jathedar says Centre making efforts to give control over farmers, land and produce to capitalists

Acting jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh delivering his Diwali message at Golden Temple. ht photo
HT Correspondent

letterschd@hindustantimes.com

Amritsar : Akal Takht acting jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh on Saturday asked the Khalsa Panth (the core section of Sikh community) to stand with the farmers agitating against farm laws introduced by BJP-led union government.

Delivering his customary ‘sandesh’ (message) on Saturday to the community from the Darshani Deori of the Golden Temple on Diwali, which is celebrated at the holiest Sikh shrine on a grand scale, he said, “We are celebrating the Bandi Chhod Diwas, when Indian farmers are in the battle field to secure their rights. The Khalsa Panth witnesses the development in which Baba Banda Singh Bahadur made people, the owners of the land they tilled, over 300 years ago.” He also claimed that incumbent rulers were making efforts to ensure control of the capitalists over farmers, their land and produce.

“On Bandi Chhod Diwas, the Khalsa Panth should not only assure the victimised, including farmers and labourers that it stands with them, but also come to the fore to fight for the cause of their agitation,” the jathedar added.

Giani Harpreet Singh added, “Every Sikh, especially our youth, should realise his duties. This realisation becomes necessary when drive of discrimination and oppression has been intensified in the country, once again, on the pretext of killing natural diversity in terms of religion, language, politics, economy, education and culture. When all citizens especially minorities, scheduled castes and tribal people are being deprived of exercising the right to freedom of speech and expression.”

He continued, “When dissenting voices are being suppressed using the high-handedness of political power. When instances are increasing, in a worrisome manner, of putting ordinary citizens, including intellectuals, behind bars by introducing new draconian laws. When Sikh prisoners are being jailed for the past five years.”

He also congratulated the community for helping the needy in times of covid-19 outbreak during which many people lost their livelihoods. Takht Patna Sahib jathedar Giani Ranjit Singh, Takht Kesgarh Sahib jathedar Giani Raghbir Singh, Golden Temple head granthi Giani Jagtar Singh, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Gobind Singh Longowal, Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Khalsa and Budha Dal chief Baba Balbir Singh also addressed the devotees gathered there.

Parallel jathedar denied entry

Dhian Singh Mand, Sarbat Khalsa-appointed acting (parallel) jathedar of the Akal Takht, also came to the Golden Temple with his supporters including Jarnail Singh Sakhira and Harbir Singh Sandhu of the SAD (Amritsar) and other Sikh activists to deliver his sandesh, but police restricted his entry to the shrine, citing the possibility of clash between them and the SGPC staff inside. After being denied entry, they sat outside the shrine for half an hour and then Mand delivered his sandesh.

As per tradition, Nihang organisations also gathered at the Akal Takht to observe the Bandi Chhod Diwas in large numbers, carrying long traditional weapons. The festival was celebrated with religious fervour with the entire shrine complex being illuminated. Candles and earthen lamps were lighted on the bank of the sarovar (holy tank).

 

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