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Blackest Day In The History Of Sikh


Sep 16, 2004
Tempers flare up at Akal Takht
Mann, Badal men clash at Manji Sahib
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 2
The quadricentennial celebrations of the foundation of Akal Takht would go down in the history of the Sikh panth as the “blackest day” as turbans of SGPC chief, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, president, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, and some other Sikh leaders fell off in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib and Sikh high priests, at Manji Sahib inside Golden Temple Complex here today.
Jathedars of the five Takhts had a tough time as chaos prevailed even before the “ardas” and they had to carry Guru Granth Sahib away hastily, hurting the sentiments of the Sikh sangat present on the occasion.
Shockingly, the Task Force of the SGPC, Akali MLAs and some senior leaders fled from the scene and failed to safeguard Guru Granth Sahib, leaving the stage open for the angry SAD (A) supporters.
In the no-holds-barred clash, members of Badal and Mann factions of SAD used swords, lathis and attacked one another with fists and blows — something unprecedented in the history of SGPC.
It was for the first time that even the “ardas” of the religious function could not be completed as tempers flared up. Consequently, the Sikh high priests postponed the bhog of “akhand path” to July 21.
The trouble started when the SGPC did not give time to Mr Mann to address the Sikh sangat after Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Jathedar Makkar had spoken. Within no time, SAD (A) men captured the stage and its president Mr Mann made his followers raise the demand for ‘‘azadi’’ (freedom) amid slogans of “Bole So Nihal…”. SAD (A) activists also raised slogans like ‘‘Badal murdabad’’ and ‘‘Mann zindabad’’.
The incident occurred even as a number of banners like “Akal Takht mahan hai, Sikh panth di shan hai’ adorned the walls of Harmandar Sahib .
While SAD (A) supporters captured the stage, SAD (B) and SGPC men escorted Mr Badal and the SGPC chief to a safer place.
The SGPC chief said it was not his but the ‘‘turban of the Sikh panth’’ that had fallen off.
Mr Mann, however, said a fitting reply would be given to pro-Badal activists who had removed his turban. He claimed that it was the Sikh sangat which had raised the demand that he should be given time to speak on this historic occasion.
However, Mr Badal and SGPC chief said it was the sole right of the SGPC to decide who would be allowed to speak or not. Mr Mann claimed that he had participated in the function on the appeal of Jathedars who had said Akal Takht’s ‘‘Sirjana Divas’’ should be celebrated jointly. He said it was not the function of SAD (B) only.
Mr Badal alleged that Mr Mann had repeated the acts of his ‘‘nana’’ (maternal grandfather Aroor Singh who had honoured General O’Dyer at Akal Takht after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Mr Mann said he had already sought unconditional apology from the Sikh panth for the acts of his grandfather and maintained that, ‘‘Mr Badal had not tendered any apology on behalf of his grandfather, Fateh Singh, who had allegedly added poison in water during Jaiton Morcha’’.
Meanwhile, the unfortunate developments have caused concern among the well-meaning people in general and shocked the devout Sikhs in particular. Earlier, the clash on February 22, 2003 involving activists of the Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat, members of the Sikh Students Federation (Mehta group) and employees of the SGPC inside the SGPC complex in which 19 persons had been injured had hit the headlines.
Today’s incident evoked strong reaction from the Sikh masses who described it as highly regrettable and avoidable. The latest developments show that the SGPC has not learnt any lessons. The clash, points to the failure of the SGPC’s crisis management system, they maintained.
Earlier, in his address, Mr Badal had sought the help of Sikh sangat to bring SAD back to power in the state.
Bhai Mohkam Singh, spokesman of the Damdami Taksal, Bhai Baldev Singh, President, Akhand Kirtani Jatha, Mr Onkar Singh Thapur and U.K-based Dal Khalsa leader Manmohan Singh Khalsa, while expressing concern over today’s incident blamed Mr Mann for it. However, Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, President of the All-India Shiromani Akali Dal said SAD (A) should have been given time to address the Sikh sangat. He said infighting among Sikh groups was an unfortunate development.



Sep 16, 2004

Will Punjab’s dark days come back again?

[FONT=Verdana,Arial][SIZE=-2]7/17/2006 12:39:34 AM[/SIZE][/FONT]- By Kuldip Nayar

Those who can recall Punjab terrorism would also recall the hand of Pakistan behind the terrorist activities. Those were the gory days which people in the state would find it difficult to efface from their memory. Last week’s Mumbai blasts reminded me of the horror that Punjab went through. The other day, I saw a build-up to that horror, or at least an effort towards bringing it back, in Amritsar.
I was present at a huge gathering at the Manji Sahib Hall in the Golden Temple complex. The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) was observing the 400th year of the Akal Takht’s foundation, the highest Sikh temporal seat. I had been invited, along with Vijay Pratap, a human rights activist, to receive from Akali Dal president Parkash Singh Badal an award for having fought against the Emergency (1975-1977) and gone to jail in the process.
The award ceremony went off peacefully in the presence of thousands of people. It was declared from the podium that some more people would be given awards and the opportunity to address the gathering. Listed among the people were the supporters of Simranjit Singh Mann, Badal’s inveterate opponent and an advocate of militancy. But Mann’s men became impatient and did not want to wait for their turn.
A few among them rushed to the stage and roughed up the SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar, and tried to capture the podium. Swords were drawn and turbans went flying as people from both sides clashed. Supporters of Mann pushed forward, while the SGPC leaders pleaded with them to have their separate dais if they were insistent on having their own way. The clash scared the congregation and people began to disperse. No amount of exhortation could bring them back. Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book, was removed from the hall and the visibly disturbed Badal was taken to a safe place inside the temple complex.
That the sacrilegious act took place in the "presence" of the Guru Granth Sahib, left a bad impression on me. I feel that the Sikh community is its own enemy. There are groups within groups, and quarrels to get a place of vantage in the religious hierarchy or in gurdwaras that will bring them to limelight and get them funds. However unworthy some may be to occupy these positions, they have to go through a process of election. Punjab, Haryana and Delhi have laws that elect, from the Sikh electoral college, a set of people who administer the gurdwaras in their respective states. The problem arises when those ousted do not accept the majority verdict and indulge in activities which prevent the management from doing its work. True, it is not all that altruistic, but it needs to be so. What is required is tolerance. No community has suffered so much in a relatively short span of time as the Sikhs have. Name the atrocity, they have undergone it. The community is courageous enough to bear sufferings willingly as part of its faith. Indeed, theirs is a long saga of confrontation and sacrifice which has got tangled with other things. The community is still in the grip of division and dictation, feudalism and fundamentalism. In fact, it is commendable how the community, about 550 years old, has faced bravely the challenges to their tradition, turbaned and bewhiskered as they are. In numbers, they are only six million, but they have made their presence felt wherever they have gone.
They are spread all over the world. But their homeland is India. Punjab, where most of them live, has experienced many agitations because only through the state’s division and re-division could they get a majority. But with the influx of labour from Bihar and elsewhere, the Punjabi-speaking population is nearly losing its majority. This may create problems in the future.
Coming back to the Manji Sahib incident, it has evoked all-round condemnation, particularly from Sikh organisations. The proceedings were televised live, so several people rang me up from Canada and the United Kingdom to voice their concern. However, this is not the first such incident. Nor will it be the last. The Sikh community has to ponder over the incident because it disturbed a religious function held to commemorate the establishment of the Akal Takht. Obviously, those who did it had politics in their mind. State elections are only six months away. The Congress, which is in power, is using all tactics to stall its opponent, the Akali Dal, from winning the polls.
I wonder if this incident is the beginning of the Giani Zail Singh-type politics. Then the Congress found the extremist Bhindranwale and lionised him to fight against the Akalis. Things went beyond control and the result was disastrous. One, the Army attacked the Golden Temple where Bhindranwale had tried to build a state within a state. Two, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s Sikh guards assassinated her. This led to another fiendish retaliation: the killing of innocent Sikhs in broad daylight, 3,000 in Delhi alone. What is called the Sikh problem got more aggravated. The elevation of Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister has resolved that problem to a large extent, and that Mrs Indira Gandhi’s daughter-in-law, Sonia Gandhi, has brought it about, has made all the difference. But the notion of mixing miri and piri, religion with politics, continues to be the real bane. When Guru Hargobind Sahib rationalised merging politics with religion, his purpose was to instil sentiments of social service among his followers. He wanted Sikhs to pay attention to the lowest in the land. No doubt, Sikhs are far ahead in this compared to other communities. Still, their contribution is not in proportion to the wealth at their command. Why cannot the community channelise its money to productive avenues so as to absorb lakhs of unemployed Sikhs who are prone to drugs? One of the main causes of the last militancy in Punjab was the unemployment of the Sikh youth.
The Sikh community still dreams of what India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had said: the Sikhs would have a place of their own where they would enjoy the "glow." Every agitation begins and ends with that. The much-decried Anandpur Sahib Resolution is a watered down version of Article 370 which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
The Sikhs, by and large, have come to accept provincial autonomy like the rest of Indians. But the problem with the Sikh community is that it tends to mix religion and politics. It is not opposed to secularism but it over-emphasises its religious identity. Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, preached pluralism and put together the sayings of Hindu, Muslim and other saints in the Guru Granth Sahib. It is pluralism the Sikhs should be pursuing and upholding, not religious jingoism. When they get carried away by passions as was seen at the Manji Sahib hall, they exhibit a trait which impairs the community’s image.


Jun 24, 2005
Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, preached pluralism and put together the sayings of Hindu, Muslim and other saints in the Guru Granth Sahib.

Looks like Mr. Kuldip Nayar needs some lessons of Sikh history himself.
Dec 8, 2005
We are a young religion on this planet .

We are on the grandest mission any religion has ever taken ; that is to unite all humans under One God By what ever name we may worship him : Jesus / ALLAH /Ram/ Krishan / Buddha / Jewish god .

Sikhs must not perish before this mission is accomplished.

This is going to require a lot of Will to implement that is testosterones.

If some has spilled before Our beloved SGGS one need not get to panicky about it .

We are in the stage of what Rome was when it was getting formed or Alexander the great bubbling with testosterones leading his armies.

He was halted at the frontiers of Punjab and some of his genome is surely amongst us .

Dont stop the boys let them enjoy the freedom in Punjab and India today to express themselves.

Far greater worse things have hapened on this planet like Hiroshama and Nagassakki bombing , Rise of Nazis etc. None could stop the growth of Germany or Japan they are today among the best countries today to live in.

Our blood is young and warm and pulsatting let it throb.



I also do not see why we call it a Black day.
As per sikh philosophy every thing hapopens by the will of God so may be this also happened.

For comparision I can only say that when

Germans fought Britisher
Britisher fought French
Britisher fought Americans

The POPE did not call it the blackest day.
They let the strongest of mind and body win.

I feel Akal Takth should not be the place to discuss Politics.

We must have a Sikh parliment of sort where all these religious/ political matter can be discussed.

Let us Keep Our SGGS out of this battle fields of mortals.



The elevation of Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister has resolved that problem to a large extent, and that Mrs Indira Gandhi’s daughter-in-law, Sonia Gandhi, has brought it about, has made all the difference.

dear brother:)


I had beg to differ here.

In democracy one is suppose to come through peoples votes.

He has earned a place of PM ship by rescuing India from economic crisis;

It could have gone the USSR way.

Also by the virtue of history where Sikhs have made so many sarifices for mother India.

A true Sikh shall express himself and shine like a Sun on India only when he comes thru the Ballot box.

love:star: :wah:

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