Amritsar, March 30:
During the budget session of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), several important resolutions related to Sikh concerns were passed on Tuesday. These different resolutions moved by SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur were approved by the members present in a loud voice amid resonance of jaikaras (Bole So Nihal Sat Sri Akal).
A resolution was passed demanding from the United Nations Organization (UNO) calling for declaring this year (2021) as the “International Human Rights Year” with regards to the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur being celebrated on May 1, 2021. The resolution states, “The ninth Patshah (Guru Tegh Bahadur), despite not agreeing with the traditions and principles of Hindu religion, opposed forcible conversion and gave martyrdom. He is proud of being the chadar (shroud) of Hind, Dharam (righteousness) and the world. Guru Sahib protected religious rights through his martyrdom. Therefore, in view of this contribution of Guru Sahib, on the occasion of his 400th birth anniversary, the year 2021 should be declared as the International Human Rights Years.”
At the same time, it was demanded from the Government of India (GOI) to establish a unique monument of the ninth Guru on the lines of 'Virasat-e-Khalsa' at Sri Anandpur Sahib dedicated to his 400th birth anniversary and large scale development should be done of all the historic sites related to him from his birthplace Gurdwara Guru Ke Mahal, Sri Amritsar to his martyrdom shrine Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib, Delhi. The day of martyrdom of the ninth Guru should be celebrated as 'Religious Tolerance Day' and the GOI should make the holy baani (Gurbani writings) of the ninth Guru available in libraries all over the world by translating them into major languages of the world. All these works should be done under the supervision of the SGPC. The GOI and the state governments should declare SGPC as the nodal body for the fourth birth centenary celebrations of the ninth Guru, to be held at home and abroad. Apart from this, the road from Agra, the place of arrest of the ninth Guru, to his martyrdom site at Delhi, should be declared as 'Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Marg' and from Delhi to Sri Anandpur Sahib as 'Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Sis Marg', as his holy 'Sis' was carried on this route after the martyrdom.
A resolution condemning the anti-farmer black laws framed by the GOI has been passed and their repeal is demanded. It reads, “The agriculture could not be ignored in the country, as the farmer feeds the country and the world by producing food grains after great difficulties. The black laws passed by the Centre government are going to ruin the farmers, so they should be withdrawn immediately." The resolution also pledged to stand with all sections, including the farmers, who are struggling against the black laws.
Another resolution in this regard strongly condemned the death of a youth (Navreet Singh) during the tractor march held by the farmers in Delhi on January 26, 2021 and the torture and imprisonment of hundreds of them. Demanding an impartial inquiry into the matter, the farmers and youths lodged in jails were asked to be released immediately and all cases against them should be withdrawn. The resolution also sought to provide adequate compensation to the victims and an inquiry into the alleged role of government agencies in these incidents.
A resolution has also been passed regarding reopening of the corridor of Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib (now in Pakistan), the holy shrine of Guru Nanak. It said that the temporary closure of the corridor due to corona is hurting the religious sentiments of the sangat. Now that various places and institutions have been opened, the corridor of Sri Kartarpur Sahib should also be opened without any delay.
A resolution commended the Sikh organizations for helping the needy during the times of Covid-19 pandemic.
Another resolution strongly opposed the move to suppress minorities in India, including the Sikhs. It read, “India is a multi-religious, multilingual and multi-ethnic country. Every religion has made a great contribution to its freedom, especially the Sikh community, which has made more than 80% sacrifices. But sadly, for a long time now, religious freedom of other religions has been suppressed in the wake of the RSS's (Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh) move to make the country a Hindu Rashtra. Minorities are being targeted through direct and indirect intervention.” The resolution also called on the GOI to work for the protection of the rights and freedom of religion of all religions instead of being ready to implement the efforts initiated by the RSS. All those elements who try to suppress the minorities should be punished, sought the resolution.
In another resolution, the decision of the GOI to restrict the jatha (group of pilgrims) from going to mark the 100th anniversary of Saka Nankana Sahib in Pakistan in February 2021, has been strongly condemned. The resolution termed the action of the Indian government as an action taken on the lines of the British and the Mughals and asked the Union government to apologize to the Sikh community.
In another resolution, it has been demanded to hand over Gurdwara Gyan Godri, Haridwar (Uttaranchal), Gurdwara Dangmar and Chungthang (Sikkim), Gurdwara Bauli Matth, Mangu Matth and Punjabi Matth (Orissa), to the SGPC. It reads that these are the most sacred places of the Sikhs, but their issues have been pending for a long time. The resolution demanded that the responsibility of maintenance of these shrines be handed over to the SGPC.
A resolution of appreciation has been passed with regards to the recognition of the identity of Sikh religion ‘Nishan Sahib’ as “Sikh Flag Day” to be marked on March 11 in Connecticut state of the United States of America (USA). It reads that the Nishan Sahib is an important symbol of the Sikh community and it is a matter of pride for Sikhs to be recognized and respected abroad. The USA state government was commended in this regard.
During the budget session, on the suggestion of some members, a resolution was unanimously passed condemning the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib Ji at Bargari.
SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur said, “The SGPC is in favour of imposing severe punishments on the culprits of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib and no one should be spared.”
Meanwhile, on the demand of S. Sukhdev Singh Bhaur to provide assistance of Rs 10 lakh to two Sikh youths who were martyred at Behbal Kalan in 2016 as per a decision of the SGPC executive committee, SGPC member from Faridkot constituency Bibi Gurinder Kaur said that this assistance was provided by herself on behalf of the committee.
On the request of SGPC member S Balwinder Singh to start a scholarship with regards to the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib, Bibi Jagir Kaur said that it was already being considered and a decision would be taken.
In addition, condolences were paid to the personalities which passed away in the recent past. Among these personalities included former SGPC junior vice-president S. Bikkar Singh Channu, SGPC member Jathedar Dayal Singh Kolianwali, S. Gurtej Singh Dhade, S. Sukhdarshan Singh Marar, former member Bugha Singh Badshahpur, former member of SGPC Dharam Prachar Committee S. Bharpur Singh Rauni, Baba Ram Singh Singra of Karnal, Baba Mohan Singh of Bhinderan Kala Taksal, Baba Surinder Das Ji of Kutharwale, Bhai Navreet Singh who martyred during the farmers’ movement. Tributes were paid to these departed souls by reciting Moolmantar and Gurmantar.