Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Op/Ed: Why Badals don’t speak against Dera Sirsa, its head Gurmeet Ram Rahim?

Today, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) issued a press release criticizing the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab over the appointment of lawyer Vinod Ghai as Advocate General (AG) of Punjab. However, it was not issued by its president Sukhbir Singh Badal or any other member of Badal family, but by another leader of the party.

Why? Because it was against Sirsa based anti-Sikh and notorious Dera headed by rapist Gurmeet Ram Rahim.

Let’s go through the press release first. It has been prepared by Jangvir Singh, media advisor to Sukhbir Badal, like other releases which are issued by the SAD (Badal) president. However, it has been issued as a statement by SAD (B) leader Balwinder Singh Bhundar. Here are highlights of the release in italic letters:

“With the appointment  of Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Ram Rahim’s counsel , Vinod Ghai as the new AG, Punjab, the cat is finally out of the bag on AAP’s conspiratorial politics. It has confirmed the widespread impression that  there was close proximity between the AAP’s national and local leadership  especially the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on the one hand and the Dera Sirsa Chief Ram Rahim on the other. Isn’t it strange that the Punjab AAP government’s own SIT finds the Dera Chief guilty of sacrilege but the govt still proceeds to appoint his own personal lawyer as the state’s top ranking law officer? Whom will Ghai defend in the court now on the sacrilege case, the SIT or the Dera chief whom the SIT has indicted?”

“In a significant observation in a statement here, the SAD Secretary General said that the appointment of Ghai as Punjab AG has also exposed as to which political powers were behind the  deep conspiracy behind the sacrilege events to defame the then Akali government headed by Sardar Parkash Singh Badal. Mr Bhunder said that the appointment also confirms the widespread impression that acts of sacrilege of the holy Shri Guru Granth Sahib were planned and executed by powers outside Punjab and the sole aim behind these was to weaken the voice of the Khalsa Panth, the Shiromani Akali Dal by creating doubts about it in the minds of the devout common Sikhs.”

It is nothing new that Badals have not spoke against Dera Sirsa. They never spoke against this dera or its head with which they have old ties. These ties remained intact even after Ram Ram committed blasphemy by imitating Guru Gobind Singh at Salabatpura and Akal Takht Sahib issued ‘hukamnama’ asking Sikhs to shun all kind of relations with the dera. Shamefully, Badals as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab continued giving patronage to Dera Sirsa when it was indulging in committing sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in Bargari village and other nearby villages. Instead of tightening the noose around it, SAD (B) government got Ram Rahim pardoned by Akal Takht jathedar in blasphemy case to garner votes of dera followers. Till the last day of their government, Badals did not let Dera Sirsa’s Bargari sacrilege conspiracy unearthed.

How can they speak against this dera in such a situation?

Whenever, the SAD (B) is to speak against this dera under pressure of Sikh masses, Badals remain mum and they ask other party leaders to do so. When any newsman asks questions to Badals in any press conference, they do not talk much about the dera or avoid answering them. This is the strategy of the Badals so far.

On July 29, 2019, Sukhbir during a press conference in Amritsar, endorsed findings of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in its closure report on Bargari sacrilege cases, stating that “CBI closure report makes it clear that arrest of persons in sacrilege case was wrong technically”. And the arrests were made of Dera Sirsa followers. Thus, he supported these followers.

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