http://www.punjabnewsline.com/content/view/4322/38/ Akal Takht takes the right decision on dera Sacha Sauda SATINDER BAINS Wednesday, 30 May 2007 CHANDIGARH: The decision of the Akal Takht to reject the apology tendered by dera Sacha Sauda Chief Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh may not be considered good omen for peace in Punjab but it appears to be a timely decision to prevent religious disintegration. The dera chief has been squarely criticized by Sikh clergy and the members of Sarv Dharam committee that was mediating to resolve the stand off between Sikhs and dera authorities. Swami Agnivesh who headed the Sarv Dharam delegation was upset over the behavior of dera management. He said in Amritsar that attitude of dera chief was "disgraceful". The same sentiments were reflected in the edict issued by Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti on May 29. He has stated Baba Ram Rahim Singh is clever and cunning person who is finding protection behind his followers. The anger of Sikh community was reaction of blasphemy by dera Chief who had attired like Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh master. The Sikh community had used utmost restraint in dealing with this sensitive issue. The Punjab Bandh on May 22 was completely peaceful. The peace and harmony prevailed even after that. The dera's arrogance of not tendering an apology from Sikh community is major concern for future of peace in border state. The Akal Takht has refused to accept the half hearted apology sent by dera that was not signed by dera chief. The dera said they have apologised from Guru Gobind Singh. The right thinking persons believe that dera chief should have apologised from Akal Takht or the Sikh community. The trouble lies only here that Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh has not only be trying to equalize himself with Guru Gobind Singh he seems to be thinking of declaring himself a God. He had prepared the 'Jaam-e-Insaan'' and 'saat Piaras' (seven beloveds)on the pattern Guru Gobind Singh had prepared 'Amrit' and Punj Piaras' (five beloveds). The act of Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh is not just matter of hurting the Sikh sentiments but his actions attributed to interference in other religions. The Akal Takht has asked the SGPC to take legal opinion how dera Sacha Sauda was using symbols of other religions. Baba was born as Gurmit Singh in a Jat Sikh family of Ganga Nagar district of Rajasthan but he added suffixes of Ram and Rahim in his name to put a secular face before the people. The confrontation between dera Sacha Sauda and Sikh community is unlikely to die in near future. The Sikhs had been keeping their enmity with Nirankari sect which represents a black chapter in Sikh history. Atleasr 13 Sikh protestors were killed in firing by Nirankari followers in Amritsar on April 13, 1978. This incident had led to decade long militancy in Punjab. Swami Agnivesh hs righty analysed that situation is very explosive in Punjab. The SAD-BJP government in Punjab has given assurance that they would maintain law and order at all costs. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal understood to have been facing pressure from BJP to resolve the issue at an earliest. The things however may not be in control of Badal now. The radical Sikh organisations which were lying low have again taken control of situation. BJP hardly understand the pulse of Sikhs. The party had won 19 out of 31 contested by it in last assembly elections only because Sikh votes were transferred to them and BJP voters have also gone to SAD. Any opposition of Sikh sentiments by BJP may prove fatal for it in the coming parliament elections when their stakes would be very high. Perhaps BJP MP Navjot Sidhu has that understanding when he stated that dera issue was a religious matter and politicians should keep of it. The Sikhs are not expected to undulge in violence against the dera in times to come unless some unexpected provocation comes calling. People of Punjab had maintained peace and harmony in worst periods of militancy. This is the only state where two communities of Hindus and Sikhs live together in peace and never in the history there were communal clashes.