AMRITSAR: The Sikh nation has been enraged over the appointment of a non-Sikh on the top post of Punjab and Sind Bank which was established by the Sikhs over a century ago.
It was in the year 1908, when a humble idea to uplift the poorest of poor of the land culminated in the birth of Punjab & Sind Bank with the far-sighted vision of Sikh luminaries like Bhai Vir Singh, Sir Sunder Singh Majitha and Sardar Tarlochan Singh. They enjoyed the highest respect with the people of Punjab.
Dr. Inderjit Singh took it to new heights and it had been headed by the Sikhs in the past. The Sikhs and Sikh institutions have been having their accounts in this bank which is known as Sikh bank and it gave jobs to many Sikhs. However, the Government of India a few days ago appointed Swarup Kumar Saha as MD & CEO of the PSB. This is not enough, all other top posts in the bank are occupied by non Sikhs. Once, Sikhs were in majority in the employees. Nowadays, a rare Sikh employee is seen in the branches of the bank.
Taking serious note of the appointment, the SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami raised an objection to the appointment. “Punjab and Sind Bank was established in 1908 as a dream of an independent bank of Sikhs and the decision taken by the Sikh intellectuals associated with Chief Khalsa Diwan was very important for the Sikh community”, he said in a statement.
“This bank (PSB) is known as Sikh bank and only a Sikh should be appointed at its top post. A consensus was also reached in this regard with the government at the time of nationalisation of this bank, but sadly it is not being implemented in spirit”, said Dhami.
He said that even before the appointment of Saha, the Sikh traditions were not followed and now, it has been done again. “It is not justified to ignore the thought process of Sikh personalities behind the establishment of this bank and the consensus formed during its nationalisation and only Sikh should be appointed to the top post of PSB”, he added.
The SGPC President appealed to the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi to consider appointing a Sikh as the MD and CEO of Punjab and Sind Bank, so that the traditions associated with the establishment of this institution are maintained and continued.
Meanwhile, the AAP’s newly elected Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Vikramjit Singh Sahney has demanded that a Sikh should have been appointed as the MD and CEO of Punjab and Sind Bank.
Sahney said the Government of India had agreed in April 1980, at the time of nationalisation of the bank, that the chairman-cum-managing director of Punjab and Sind Bank would be a Sikh.