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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Latest Breaking News from Punjab: Sunday 1st July 2007

Dera chief had apologised himself: Petition - Gurmit Raam Raheem trying to get out of going to jail

Chandigarh, Has Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh tendered an apology? If arguments on a petition moved by him in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for anticipatory bail yesterday are any indication, he admits that he has tendered an apology.
The court in its order held that the petitioner, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, never represented himself to be Guru Gobind Singh. “It is also submitted that the petitioner even tendered apologies and clearly stated that he never intended to hurt the religious feelings of the Sikh community,” order of Justice L.N. Mittal said.
Since the petitioner in the case is Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and not Dera Sacha Sauda, arguments given in the court on his behalf clarify position as to who has apologised, the chief or the dera, over the controversy generated by May 13 advertisements in various newspapers by the dera.
Even in his petition, the dera chief held that he “never spoke against any Sikh or religion. Guru Gobind Singh is the guru of all human beings and the petitioner himself follows the principles laid down by him. The petitioner never wore a blue dress. The attire worn by the petitioner did not resemble the attire of the Sikh guru. The petitioner did not wear or copied the attire deliberately or with the malicious intention to outrage the religious feelings of any section, class or community”.
He further stated, “In the interest of peace, the dera had even issued apologies in order to defuse the matter, which had not been accepted by the Sikh clergy. It was after the rejection of the apology that the government of Punjab has now issued sanction, paving the way for the arrest of the petitioner.”
Now, when the petitioner has himself admitted to tendering apologies in the case, it should assuage the hurt feelings of the Sikh community, argued a senior lawyer. The conditional bail order carries the admission of apology by the petitioner and now it is a matter of record, he added.

Punjab govt hardens stand against dera chief

CHANDIGARH: Punjab government has hardened its stand towards dera Sacha Sauda even as Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday granted interim bail to dera chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh.
Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted interim bail to Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh till August 6, few hours after the formal orders of Punjab government granting sanction to arrest the dera chief reached to Bathinda police.
Bathinda police was awaiting state government nod to arrest the dera Chief after the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate had issued arrest warrants of dera Chief with a rider that state government permission would be required before police executing the arrest warrants.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today defended the state government action and stated said "nobody is above law and the state government is working well within the ambit of law". Chief Minister aid that "nobody is above law".
About the accusations of Dera and Congress leadership in Punjab that "excesses" were being allegedly committed against "the Dera followers, the Chief Minister said "no one can claimany excesses committed against anyone."
A case was registered against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for allegedly attiring in a dress to look alike Guru Gobind Singh in newspaper advertisements issued on May 13. A clash between dera followers and Sikhs had taken place in Bathinda on May 14.
The Sikh clergy had issued edict for social, religious and political boycott of dera chief and his followers on May 17 at a Sikh conclave in Talwandi Sabo. The Akal Takht had also rejected two apologies tendered by dera. The Sikh clergy has described dera chief arrogant as he had addressed the apology to Guru Gobind Singh and issued it in the form of apress note.
The Akal Takht has called a Sikh convention in Ratia in Haryana on July. However, it is learnt that Haryana government has decided not to grant permission for the Sikh conclave.

Sikhs and the law of the land

A deredar of Sirsa has insulted the Guru of the Sikhs, the history of the Sikhs, the principles and traditions of the Sikhs. More than a month has since passed. Neither the media has presented the view point of the Sikhs honestly nor has the government done justice. The community is being told that law will take its course but the culprit who has insulted an entire community is being provided a level of security equivalent to that available to the Prime Minister. His deras are being guarded with the same zeal. When it comes to committing excesses upon the Sikhs, then where does this course of the law run? Unless these issues are deliberated upon and understood, the ongoing agitation of the Sikhs will not be able to deliver crystallized results.Under the law of the land, the Sikhs who were displaced from Pakistan during the Partition got lesser land than what they left behind. It was as per the law set down by the government that the Sikhs were not allowed to live at one place. When the Punjabi Suba was carved after thousands of Sikhs went to jail and S. Darshan Singh Pheruman attained martyrdom, lakhs of Punjabis and vast swathes of Punjabi-speaking areas were left outside Punjab. Control of the river waters and the power generation/distribution was snatched away. All of this was the result of the law taking its own course.In 1978, 13 Sikhs were killed by the nakli Nirankaris at Sri Amritsar. The court at Karnal not only acquitted all the accused in this case but also admonished the police for wrongly implicating the peace-loving citizens (Narakdharis) and thus hurting them. This pronouncement of the court was as per the law of the land. In 1984, on the day of the Shaheedi Gurpurab of the fifth Sikh Guru, under the garb of arresting Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindranwale, the Indian Army attacked Sri Darbar Sahib with tanks and artillery, which was presumably as per the law of the land. Mind you, that not a single case was pending against Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in any thana or court. At least not under the law of the land.The 21st century began for this country with the application of the law of the land when the police presented 133 witnesses against Prof Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar but not one was able to identify him. He, however, has been sentenced to death, of course under the law of the land.Why does the law go to sleep when it comes to the Sikhs? When the RSS leadership openly terms the Sikhs as part of Hindus, does that not amount to an excess as per the law of the land? The little subtle secret is that even the Constitution of the country does not recognize the independent identity of the Sikhs. When constitutionally the Sikhs do not have an existence of their own, then where is the issue of being victims of excess?When people immigrate from one country to the other, and the law of the new nation does not recognize them, then they can be termed illegal, aliens, but those who are deprived of their rights in the lad of their birth are not illegal. They are slaves. The illegal, the aliens are expatiated by the governments, thrown into jails but to loot, beat, kill or jail the slaves, you don't need much of the law. For example, even if the Supreme Court has not considered or pronounced that shouting a slogan in favour of Khalistan is any crime, but myself is facing a case of no less a crime than the crime of sedition for ostensibly doing exactly that. The most heinous crime in any country is the crime of sedition, but in this country, one is booked for sedition for desecrating a statue. Sardar Simranjit Singh Mann is facing a case of sedition because he did not like the fact that there should be a statue of Beant Singh who is no icon of human rights. Compared to his actions, the head of the dera who insulted the Sikhs gets Z+ security.The inference is simple: Because the quom is pushed into slavery, the izzat accorded to a statue is more important than the izzat of the entire quom.The Constitution and the law of this land is based on the brahamanvaadi philosophy. The basis of this philosophy is caste, idol worship and bharam-jaal. The SIkh gurus replaced caste with the philosophy of ‘Manas ki jaat sabhe aike pehchaanbo’ and ‘Sarbat Da Bhala’. The idol worship and human-worship were replaced with Akal Purakh and Shabad-Guru. The mumbo-jumbo of bharam and mantars was replaced by the construct of the Khalsa's high living and true calling.The Khalsa made history by following the path of the Gurus and had its own reign. Many do not like the fact that the Gurus were able to negate the Brahamanvaad's basic concepts and equipped the Sikhs with their separate ideology, history and unique identity which enabled them to rule. It is because of this that whenever anyone insults the Saroop, the principles or the Gurus of the Sikhs, he invariably gets a pat from the state or the central governments. The rise of the pakhandis like Narakdharis, Nurmehlias and many others who hurt the Sikh principals and sentiments can only be ascribed to this. The Sirsa creature is only part of this pattern.One last thing. Can the Sikhs find a way to remain alive as Sikhs? The answer is that they will have to remain conscious and resolute about their history and principles. They must stick to their unique Rehat and conduct, and must ensure that in their land of birth the Punjab, the laws must be in consonance with the philosophy of Guru Granth Sahib and Sikh principles so that the Sikhs can live like Sikhs should. Many Sikhs think that with the Sirsa dera head seeking apology, being arrested or dying, the issue will end. But this is only a miniscule part of the larger issues being faced by the Sikhs. The key problems of the Sikhs will remain as long as they do not become the arbiters of their own existence. They may have to witness more rounds of 1947, 1966, 1978, 1984. The slaves do not breathe easily. They haven’t done so in history. When anyone can get up and insult the Guru of the Sikhs, and the Sikhs start holding dharnas, then be clear about the inference. Raaj bina na dharma chale hain…The medieval ages had a proverb – the might is right. The core of this wisdom hasn’t changed in modern times. If Punjab had been ruled as per the Sikh philosophy and principles, then anyone insulting the Gurus would have been extended the same treatment as Chandu was meted by the Guru of Miri-Piri. Then we would not have been spilling out on the roads to seek justice. Then we would not have been facing sedition cases. The ever rising fencing around the Salabatpura dera only signifies our political slavery.
(The author is Senior Vice President of Shiromani Akali Dal-Amritsar)

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