World Sikh Convention Revives Panthic Agenda: Manjit Singh Calcutta


World Sikh Convention revives Panthic agenda: Manjit Singh Calcutta

Monday, 19 April 2010

AMRITSAR: Notwithstanding its criticism, the World Sikh Convention has revived the Sikh agenda that has been abandoned by the ruling party in Punjab.

The organizers of the WSC has tried to put a joint front to consolidate their Panthic base as they have been accusing the SAD (Badal) for abandoning the Sikh agenda under pressure from its alliance partner.

While addressing the press conference at Dal Khalsa office Shiromani Panthic Council chairman S Manjit Singh Calcutta, Khalsa Action Committee chairman Bhai Mohkam Singh, Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh and SAD (Panch Pardani) presidium member Daya Singh Kakhar claimed that the WSC was fully successful as decisions were taken in accordance with Sikh principles and keeping the interest of the community in mind.

To implement its declaration and resolution in letter and spirit, a body would be constituted very shortly, he said. A sub committee’s would also be formed to propagate the religious ethos and to awaken the Sikhs from the wrongdoings of the present house of the SGPC. Another 'drafting committee' of Sikh scholars, experts and thinkers would be constituted to develop system for building consensus and fixing norms for the post of the jathedar Akal Takht.

Reaffirming the resolve of the WSC that Akal Takht is supreme and its jathedar should be independent of all kinds of political and administrative pressures and manipulations, the leaders took those to task who opposed the convention for no reason.

Calling SGPC president as incompetent, the leaders said Makkar was suffering from Sarna phobia. Mohkam Singh asks Jathedar Makkar to keep shut as his irresponsible and irrational statements expose his hollowness.

During the WSC, for the first time, Sikhs from all walks of life and places joined their heads together to discuss and thrash out issues that concerns their present and future. It wasn’t a single party show as it happened in Punjab during tercentenaries, said Mr Calcutta. “Sikh scholars, thinkers, political activists and religious preachers were one in voicing their concern about the degradation of Sikh institutions because of single family rule and they equally resolved to save the institutions from the clutches of corrupt coterie”.

'It is ironical that the Akalis have dropped the Sikh agenda and this was due to the incompetence and weaknesses of the Akalis rather than their urge to portray themselves as a secular party,' said Dal Khalsa leader Kanwarpal Singh.

“The tone and tenor and spirit behind the resolutions adopted during the WSC have left its opponents speechless as they left no stone unturned to paint the convention with Congress brush”.

Reacting on a controversial issue, they said the WSC has asserted that those institutions and individuals who violated Sikh code of conduct and Akal Takht directives by installing any book/granth at par and equal with Guru Granth Sahib have no moral authority to be part of the collective Panthic decisions. Going on offensive they said let the SGPC to clarify what action it would initiate against those who have been violating Sikh code of conduct and disobeying collective Panthic decisions made by Akal Takht time to time.

Apart from identity struggle, the basic problem facing the Sikh religion is now growing apostasy. WSC called for concerted efforts to face this challenge. Yet another issue which should be of immediate concern is the proliferation of deras majority of which distort almost all aspects of Sikhism. Sikh religion is casteless and classless but ironically the society could not fully free itself from the clutches of casteism. These are the issues which the proposed body representing Sikh Diaspora would address to at the earliest.