Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh on June 6, 2023 gave a call to all Sikh organisation to join hands to work towards strengthening the religion, especially in rural belts, while “expecting the least from the Government”.
The Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh said this from the Akal Takht on the occasion of the 39th anniversary of Operation Blue Star.
It is to be noted that, security was strengthened up at Golden Temple on the 39th anniversary of Operation Blue Star, Barring this pro-Khalistan sloganeering was done by the Khalstani extremists.
The Jathedar said that the scars of the 1984 attack made the Sikhs ‘mazboot’ (strong), not ‘majboor’ (helpless).
“Sikhs can never forget the wounds of 1984. Much is being publicised on social media in defamatory terms. I want to clarify that it boosts our strength,” he said.
Hinting indirectly towards the trend of conversion to Christianity, especially in rural belts, Giani Harpreet Singh said that the need of the hour was to maintain unity among the Sikh community.
“I appeal to all Sikh missionaries, Sant Samaj, Damdami Taksal and other organisations to shun their differences, come on one platform and preach Sikhism jointly, especially in remote rural areas where the Sikhs felt dejected. We have to take the ‘patits’ back to the Sikh fold,” he said.
Earlier also, The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) had declared to launch a special drive in the villages in Punjab to check the conversion activities of the Christian missionaries.
The SGPC has been under attack after multiple videos of Sikhs converting to Christianity started doing the rounds on social media platforms.
The drive has been named “Ghar Ghar Andar Dharamsaal (sacred shrine within every home)”. The campaign aims to distribute Sikh literature to the people in the villages of Punjab.
Christian Conversion and Punjab
Punjab is witnessing rapid proliferation of Christian Deras (religious sects). Normal people, who have no education in Christian theology or the necessary sanction to preach, are becoming self-styled “Apostles” and “Pastors” of these new age Deras. In the bargain they are earning huge amounts of money and have tremendous power as in the case of other Dera chiefs of the Sikh communities.
The fraudulent missionaries in Punjab use dubious techniques like shows of miracles and giving guarantees of cures for terminal illnesses etc., to attract innocent people most of the lower segment of society and mislead them into conversion. In many cases, the lure of migration is used as the bait. There are also reports of the use of force to engineer conversion.
Since the church has a massive following from among the Dalit community which has been converted to Christianity, the idea behind this is to form a new party and this is being seen as an attempt to tap this vote-bank.
Surprisingly, Punjab, unlike many other States of the country, does not have an anti-conversion law. Even though there is demand for the same from some quarters, the larger opinion goes against the same since the region has, for millennia, been a hub centre of religious diversity and the peaceful co-existence of many communities and religions. If somebody wishes to convert out of conviction it will not be contested in Punjab, the conflict is with regard to the use of dubious means.
During the event, Akal Takht Jathedar and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) officials honoured the families of those who were killed during the operation.
Notably, several people also wore T-shirts with slogans of ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ printed on them. The group included activists of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) led by MP Simranjit Singh Mann, Dal Khalsa and the Sikh Youth Federation.