Chandigarh, May 22: Although the Punjab police seem to be trying to script a different story going by the newspaper reports, This is the case in which the accused have gone to the extent of issued threat of repeating the offence in case anyone questioned the controversial Dasam Granth. The issue here is the attack on Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale by those from Damdami Taksal. The vehicles used in the crime are registered in the name of Taksal chief Harnam Singh Dhumma whose proximity to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has been in public domain for years. The charge Dhadrianwale, as given out by these Taksal people, is that he has used the term ‘sarkari sant’ against Dhumma, the successor of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, and his stand against Dasam Granth.
The picture of Dhumma sitting at Badal’s feet clicked years ago has been part of social media but then it is also a fact that he is credited with the raising of Sant Bhindranwale memorial in the Golden Temple complex next to Akal Takht.
The persons who have been nabbed by the police in the attack on Dhadrianwale and their supporters have made their position clear. The Taksal has been propagating Dasam Granth whose authenticity has always been under question by a section of the Sikh society and religious leaders. This book, along with Guru Granth Sahib, has been installed at Takht Patna Sahib and Takht Hazoor Sahib, both associated with Guru Gobind Singh. The Dasam Granth is said to contain writings of Guru Gobind Singh. No scientific study has been done to prove its authorship.
A section of the Sikhs see the hand of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh in community affairs and even Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh has been under attack for playing into the hands of this mother organisation of the Sangh Parivar. However, it is the RSS that has been propagating this Granth the most, perhaps more than the organisations like Damdami Taksal. The motives of the RSS behind this design had come under question. Rulda Singh, who headed the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat till he was gunned down in Patiala, had his training with Taksal. The RSS had tried to penetrate into the Punjab countryside after 1999 after taking Taksal into confidence and this is a matter of record.
It may be mentioned that the Damdami Taksal is one of those Sikh organisations and deras that don’t follow the Maryada (Religious code of conduct) finalized by the SGPC and implemented through Akal Takht. One should visit the Sant Bhindranwale memorial where a flame is kept burning. This is the maryada neither of the Golden Temple nor of Akal Takht. It may be mentioned that these two supreme institutions function under different norms.
The basic issue is the tactics used by Taksal people that are reminiscent of militancy era. It is Talibani attitude to issue threats to the people that amounts to violation of the basic Sikh doctrine. Guru Nanak believed in dialogue, logic and rationality. The Damdami Taksal is a seminary but it seems the people associated with it are ignorant about the basics of Sikh doctrine.
The Badal government is walking on a razor’s edge on this sensitive issue as it has the potential to snowball in case not handled properly. It was a miraculous escape for Dhadrianwale while his associate died in the attack. The ownership of weapons used in the crime too has been traced. It can be pointed out here that the involvement of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in the gunning down of owner of Punjab Kesari and Jagbani group Lala Jagat Narain was never proved although the action was carried out by his men. He was at least taken into custody, to be released after a few days.
At the political level, the Badal government is confronted with strong anti-incumbency and Dhadrianwale has considerable following in the Malwa area. It is this region where the anti-incumbency is the strongest. He has already given a deadline with a warning to the state government to act.
Punjab can ill-afford further deterioration in situation.