Row over new religion: ‘Dera directive can’t be enforced on entire community’ Posted: Tuesday , Feb 02, 2010 at 2353 hrs Jalandhar: After the announcement by Dera Sachkhand Ballan of founding a separate religion —Ravidassia —at an event to mark the 633rd birth anniversary of Sant Ravidass in Varanasi on Saturday, several dissenting voices are being heard. The dera has also announced that the community will have a separate religious book titled ‘Amrit Bani Guru Ravidass’, which contains 240 hymns by Guru Ravidass, a separate symbol ‘Har’ and a separate motto ‘Jai Gurudev’. Addressing a press conference, Gian Chand, convener of Samaj Bachao Morcha, which represents a section of Dalits, stated that the dera’s directive could not be enforced on the entire community. Claiming that the dera’s name was being used by certain persons for their vested interests, ha said Dera Sachkhand Ballan chief Sant Niranjan Dass had never spoken on the issue. He added that at the recent celebrations in Varanasi, all traditions of the Guru Granth Sahib were followed. Demanding the reason for Sant Niranjan Dass’ silence on the issue, Chand said he should be brought before the media as “this decision could not be his own”. Morcha members said they had the utmost respect for Guru Ravidass’ bani but at the same time the community cannot turn its back towards the Guru Granth Sahib. Dera Sachkhand Ballan came into the limelight after the Vienna incident, wherein Sant Ramananad, the deputy of Sant Niranjan Dass, was murdered in an attack allegedly carried out by some Sikhs in May last year. Sant Niranjan Dass was injured in the attack. The motive behind the attack is still not known and Austrian police are still investigating the case. Several members of the sect, in a major departure from tradition, had stopped placing the Guru Granth Sahib in the Ravidass temples after the attack, but gradually the birs were reintroduced. Ravidassia community part and parcel of Sikhism: Makkar AMRITSAR:Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Avtar Singh Makkar said there was no move to remove the Guru Granth Sahib from the gurdwaras named after Sant Ravidass. “The Ravidassia community should not restrict the great saint to itself as he was an apostle of peace and humanity for the whole of mankind. The Ravidassia community is part and parcel of Sikhism and all Sikhs place a high regard on the teachings of Sant Ravidass,” he said. Security tightened Activists of Ambedkar Sena (Mool Niwasi) termed Gian Chand a traitor and raised slogans against the Samaj Bachao Morcha and its leaders outside the Press Club on Monday. The police rushed to the spot and managed to control the unruly scene. Superintendent of Police (Headquarters) Satinder Singh escorted Gian Chand to his residence. Later, security was strengthened in the city and the areas around the dera. Sant Niranjan Dass back in city Ravidassia-Begumpura Express, a train hired by Dera Sachkhand Ballan for carrying devotees to Varanasi to celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Ravidass at his birth place (Seer Gowardhanpur) returned to Jalandhar on Monday with Dera head Sant Niranjan Dass and his aide Sant Surinder Dass Bawa on board. At the railway station, about 300 dera followers welcomed the sants. The dera management, however, chose not to speak to the mediapersons who had gathered at the railway station.