NEW DELHI—Condemning the “attempts of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh to make India a Hindu Rashtra”, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has asked the Central government to “work for the protection of the rights and freedom of all religions instead of being ready to implement the efforts initiated by the RSS”.
SGPC is the highest body of Sikhs in the country and this is the first organisation of any religious minority in the country that has openly condemned the RSS for implementing its Hindu Rashtra agenda.
The condemnation was made in a resolution passed during the budget session of SGPC at Amritsar on Tuesday( March 30). The resolution was passed by SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur and it was unanimously approved by all members present in the meeting.
But this is not the first time that any Sikh organisation has spoken strongly against the RSS. In October 2019, acting chief of Akal Takht Giani Harpreet Singh had demanded a ban on RSS saying the RSS aim of a Hindu Rashtra was not in the interest of the nation. Giani Harpreet Singh’s statement was in reaction to a statement of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat who, in his Vijayadashmi speech, had said that India is a Hindu Rashtra.
SGPC resolution passed in Amritsar on March 30 said, “India is a multi-religious, multilingual and multi-ethnic country. Every religion has made a great contribution to its freedom, especially the Sikh community, which has made more than 80 per cent sacrifices. But sadly, for a long time now, religious freedom of other religions has been suppressed in the wake of the RSS’s move to make the country a Hindu Rashtra. Minorities are being targeted through direct and indirect intervention.”
Urging the Centre to “work for the protection of the rights and freedom of religion of all religions instead of being ready to implement the efforts initiated by the RSS”, the resolution said, “All those elements who try to suppress the minorities should be punished”.
The SGPC resolution also condemned the decision of the central government to limit the number of people in ‘jathas’ from going to Pakistan to mark the 100th anniversary of Saka Nankana Sahib in February.
Stating that the action of the BJP government at the Centre was on the lines of the “British government and the Mughal rulers”, the SGPC demanded that the Centre should apologise to the Sikh community.
Another resolution passed at the meeting regarding reopening of the Kartarpur Corrdior said that “the temporary closure of the corridor due to corona is hurting the sentiments of the Sikh community. As various places and institutions have reopened, the Kartarpur corridor be also reopened without any delay”.
SGPC also demanded that the road from Agra to Delhi be declared as ‘Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Marg’ because the ninth Sikh guru was arrested in Agra and assassinated in Delhi. It also demanded that the road from Delhi to Shri Anandpur Sahib be named as ‘Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Sis Marg’, because the ‘Sis’ or head of the Guru was carried through this route after his assassination.