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Controversial SGPC Takes Control Of Live Telecast At Bangla Sahib


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
SGPC takes control of live telecast at Delhi gurdwara
by IP Singh


JALANDHAR: Even as the new house of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) is yet to be constituted and new management is yet to take over, ShiromaniGurdwaraParbandhak Committee (SGPC) and ShiromaniAkaliDal (SAD-B) have taken control of live telecast of daily discourses from GurdwaraBangla Sahib. This way the second major live telecast (after one from Darbar Sahib in Amritsar is already in SGPC's control), which was initially started as a rival' programme to counter religio-political decisions of SAD-SGPC, has gone in the latter's kitty for free to become its one more 'on-air tool'.

Political propaganda, though sugar-coated with religious idiom, has remained part of these discourses and against this backdrop SAD's control can prove crucial in the Delhi assembly election also as it is not very unusual for delivering religious discourses blended with current political issues, said a senior functionary of SGPC. "Reminding people of anti-Sikh massacre of November 1984 or Operation Blue Star during religious discourses, which has political fallouts, is not very uncommon during polls," he added.

On Monday senior granthis and preachers of SGPC started delivering discourses at Bangla Sahib Gurdwara during the live telecast. Interestingly, such were the apprehensions about this live telecast from Paramjit Singh Sarna-controlled DSGMC gurdwara that the channel 'Chardikala Time TV'' which was telecasting these discourses, was blacked out from the cable network in 2010 during the run up for the SGPC elections.

There have been several instances when Sarna and his associates used this live telecast for criticizing SAD (Badal) and SGPC. Even during the controversy on Nanakshahi calendar's implementation after amendments in 2010, which DSGMC stuck to the original Nanakshahi calendar issued by Akal Takht in 2003, which also became a major issue in DSGMC polls, Sarna-led committee fired several salvos on SAD and SGPC.

During the run up to DSGMC elections also the religious discourses during live telecast were used quite frequently and vociferously to articulate opposition to Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal-led SAD and SGPC and their policies. On Monday, a senior granthi of Darbar Sahib, Giani Mall Singh, delivered sermons during the live telecast and, according to sources in SGPC, others have also been assigned for discourses at Delhi.

Meanwhile, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar, when contacted, said that changes had been affected and he personally assigned the senior preachers for Delhi. "The preachers who had been speaking against us from DSGMC stages would not be allowed to continue," he said. He revealed that former general secretary of DSGMC, Kulmohan Singh (who lost this election as SAD (Badal) candidate), is coordinating the new preachers.



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