Sikh intellectuals today condemned an Amritsar-based Satkar Committee for forcibly removing of ‘Bir’

Sikh intellectuals today condemned an Amritsar-based Satkar Committee for forcibly removing of ‘Bir’

Snatching of ‘Bir’ from an Amritdhari Sikh Condemnable: Sikh Vichar Manch Chandigarh, 11 Aug (2020) Sikh intellectuals today condemned an Amritsar-based Satkar Committee for forcibly removing of ‘Bir’ (copy of Sikh scripture) from the residence of a retired Khalsa College principal yesterday saying that it was not a religious but an intolerant Brahmanic priestly act. Of late, the Sikh society has increasingly been influenced by the ‘sacred and profane’ syndrome deliberately pedaled by State-patronized Dera heads who have outwardly been flaunting their vegetarian religiosity to beguile the followers. Ignoring the request of 78-year-old Jaswant Singh Sandhu, the Committee activists took away the Bir from his residence at village Bassi Jalal in Hoshiarpur district accusing the retired principal of eating eggs and meat.There is nothing irreligious in eating eggs and meat as the Sikh Panth approved ‘rehat Maryada’ (code of conduct) evolved through 14-long year debates and discussions among Sikh intellectuals forbids eating of ‘halal’ meat only and nothing else. Gurbani (Sikh scripture) does not subscribe to Brahmanwaadi/ Hindu priestly approach which futilely confers ‘sacred’ status on vegetarians while dubbing the non-vegetarians as polluted ones.The intolerant and aggressive behavior of the Satkar Committees is damaging the Sikh Panth more within and outside the country by injecting an avoidable fight within the Sikh society which, in turn, would obstruct the entry of new faithful into the Sikh fold. The Committees should desist from forcibly imposing their self-conceived ‘rehat Maryada’ in religious matters as the anti-Sikh forces are already active to divide the Sikh Panth on such flimsy issues. As reported in the media, retired principal Sandhu is an amrtidhari Sikh since 1976 and since then he has been keeping the Bir at his residence. Not only he is a practicing Sikh but also writing articles about the Sikh philosophy in magazines/ journals. He has every right to differ with the Committee’s perception of ‘rehat Maryada’ until he indulges in any clear blasphemy act.We appeal to the Akal Takht to come forward to decide such delicate issue before the situation turns chaotic and ugly.Signatories to the statement are Gurtej Singh IAS, Ajaypal Singh Brar, the author, Rajwinder Singh Rahi, eminent writer, Rajwinder Singh Bains, senior advocate Punjab and Haryana High Court, Dr. Kuldip Singh Patiala, Gurpreet Singh, Global Sikh Organisation; Gurbachan Singh, Editor Des Punjab; Prof Manjit Singh, former head of Ambedkar Chair Punjab University Chandigarh; Jaspal Singh Sidhu senior journalist; Karamjit Singh senior journalist Punjabi Tribune and Sukhdev Singh Sidhu senior journalist, the Tribune. Khushhal Singh, general secretary Kendri Sri Guru Singh Sabha