`Sikh clergy feeling chained, muffled' `Sikh clergy feeling chained, muffled' PATNA, NOV 19: In perhaps the strongest-ever indictment of the Akali Dal government by the Sikh religious leadership, the Jathedar of Takht Sri Patna Sahib, Iqbal Singh, has criticised the polity -- especially Akali Dal president and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal -- for its insistence on keeping tight controls over religious matters. This, he says, has left the clergy feeling ``chained and muffled''. Takht Sri Patna Sahib, the birthplace of tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, is one of the five top temporal seats of the community whose jathedars wield undefined wide-ranging powers within the community. ``I feel gagged and bound. I cannot say just about anything on my own. At times, I find it so hard to speak the truth. As far as I know, all the jathedars are in the same position. One has to ask Badal for everything,'' Iqbal Singh told The Indian Express in an exclusive interview at his residence here recently. When asked specifically whether this was true of the Akal Takht jathedar too, Iqbal Singh said: ``The Akal Takht jathedar cannot issue any hukumnama without talking to Badal. Such is the situation in politics today.'' He said the Sikh gurus had made sacrifices to protect Hindus from a tyranical Mughal regime but today, the RSS and some other radical organisations wanted to destroy the Sikh identity by assimilating the community with Hinduism. Unfortunately, Badal is too afraid to take on the RSS for fear of losing the power which he enjoys thanks to the BJP's support,'' the Jathedar, who recently took over the top cleric's office, said. He spoke about corruption, saying: ``Everyone knows gurdwara funds are often misused but what is being done about it? Practically nothing.'' The corrective measure, he said, would be for all members of the SGPC to declare their assets and income when they file their nominations to get elected to the premier Sikh gurdwara management body. Asked about the controversy over the Dasam Granth whose authorship is a matter of contention between different groups of Sikh intellectuals, the jathedar said the real reason was that the RSS wanted to misinterpret the Dasam Granth. ``Some Sikh scholars thought that the RSS' attempt can best be tackled by invalidating the Dasam Granth itself, but it is not right,'' he said. Regualr recitations from Dasam Granth are a daily feature at Takht Sri Patna Sahib and Takht Sri Huzoor Sahib in Nanded (Maharashtra).