Badal opposes appointment of BJP MLA as Chief of Takhat Huzoor SahibChandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has opposed the decision of Maharashtra government to appoint a BJP MLA as chief of management board of the Takhat Sri Huzoor Sahib, Nanded, saying the decision is
Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has opposed the decision of Maharashtra government to appoint a BJP MLA as chief of management board of the Takhat Sri Huzoor Sahib, Nanded, saying the decision is against the Sikhs' code of religious ethics.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Badal apprised him that this move on the part on the Maharashtra government was in complete violation of the highly venerated 'Sikh Maryada' (code of religious ethics) and was to hurt the religious sentiments of Sikhs across the world.
He described this decision as "extremely unfortunate, anti-Sikh" and direct interference in the religious affairs of the Sikhs.
Seeking personal and direct intervention of Prime Minister, the Chief Minister urged Modi to direct the Maharashtra government to review and completely reverse its decision to appoint a non-baptised person, Tara Singh, (a BJP MLA) as the chief of management board of the Takhat Sri Huzoor Sahib, Nanded, immediately.
Badal said there was neither religious sanctity nor administrative logic behind the move.
"As a matter of fact, this was completely avoidable provocation that could have a bearing on the precious ideals of communal harmony in the country," he said.
Against this backdrop, Badal apprehended that the decision to appoint a non-baptised Sikh as chief of a board to manage the affairs of the holy Takhat associated with the life and teachings of the Tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, was fraught with danger as it seriously offends the basic religious 'Maryada of the Khalsa panth', according to which only a baptised Sikh can hold such a sensitive assignment.
It was unthinkable for the Sikh masses to see a non- baptised person heading a holy religious Takhat of their community, added Badal.
Badal further mentioned that the present development was an off-shoot of the decision of the previous Congress government in Maharashtra to reduce the representation of the supreme Sikh religious parliament, the SGPC, and the iconic Sikh heritage body, the Chief Khalsa Diwan, on the historic 'Takhat Sri Huzoor Sahib', 'Sri Abchalnagar Sahib', Nanded Board.
That decision had been received by the Sikh community with utter shock and disbelief, he said.
"We have been pleading with the Centre and Maharashtra government to get this brazen interference in Sikh religious affairs undone," added Badal.
The Chief Minister pointed out that the Holy Takhat Sri Huzoor Sahib was one of the five highest seats of religious authority in Sikh religion from where the community gets its spiritual, temporal and moral strength, the other four being Sri Akal Takhat Sahib( Amritsar), Takhat Sri Keshgarh Sahib, Sri Ananadpur Sahib, Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo, and Takhat Sri Patna Sahib in Bihar.
Further, the management board of Takhat Sri Huzoor Sahib was constituted through the Huzoor Sahib Abchal Nagar Sahib Nanded Board Act, 1956, in fulfilment of the demands of the Sikh community to free the Gurdwara Sahib from people who were found guilty of carrying out many anti-Sikh practices, he said.
The arrangement had lasted peacefully for the past 59 years. Never was a need felt for bringing any change in the format of the board as the management of religious and organisational affairs was always smooth and in consonance with the philosophy and teachings of the great gurus, said the CM.
A special care was taken to ensure that nothing was done in direct or indirect violation of Sikh religious traditions and practices as contained in the 'Maryada'.
The Chief Minister, however, stated that the previous Congress government in Maharashtra embarked upon a "totally unnecessary and provocative move".
A curious aspect of this move was the decision to reduce the number of representatives of the SGPC from the previous four to just one.
The representation of the chief Khalsa Diwan, an iconic historic body, was curtailed. This was despite the fact that the actual total number of the members of the board has been increased from 17 to 21, he said.
Obviously, this not only defies all logic but also smacks of a brazen conspiracy to encourage and promote governmental interference in the religious affairs of the Sikhs with the clear objective of weakening the community by eroding the authority of its highest religious institutions, Badal said.
The chief minister asserted that this decision actually played havoc with a long-standing national consensus on governmental non-interference in religious affairs of the community.
The consensus was sealed through a formal agreement between first Prime Minister of the country Jawahar Lal Nehru and Sikh religio-political leader Master Tara Singh, he said, adding that the agreement was popularly known as Nehru-Tara Singh Pact.