Sunday 19th March, 2006,Panthic Weekly News Bureau
Amritsar Sahib, Punjab (KP) – Various Sikh organizations have condemned Harcharan Josh’s comments that Sikhs were part of the Hindus, and have demanded he be removed from his post at India’s National Commission for Minorities (NCM).
Josh, a former general secretary of the Indian Youth Congress, was a close acquaintance of Sanjay and Indira Gandhi, the latter having been responsible for the brutal military assault on Sri Darbar Sahib Complex on June 1984.
The Jathedar of Akal Takhat, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti and the SGPC President, Mr Avtar Singh, stated that the Akal Takhat and the SGPC had already acknowledged that the Sikhs enjoyed a ”distinct and separate” identity and that Mr Josh had no right to question the same.
Dal Khalsa urged Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti to summon Josh at Sri Akal Takhat Sahib for his alleged ‘irresponsible utterances’, to ‘excommunicate’ him from the Panth, and has threatened to rally the Sikh masses to enforce the removal of Josh if he failed to ask for forgiveness.
Josh had stated that it was only a turban that distinguished a Sikh from a Hindu. He claimed that the Sikhs came from the same ‘Hindu culture’ and that they should admit this fact gracefully. He is further quoted saying, ”Guru Gobind Singh sacrificed for whom?”, referring to obviously to the Hindu nation.
He also said the Sikhs should not deny the facts that they had taken Pahul initiation to protect the Hindus, their brethren from the Mughal tyranny.
He also assured that the NCM would endeavor to bring back the ‘blacklisted’ Sikh youths who wanted to join the mainstream of the country. Interestingly the former NCM chairman Tarlochan Singh had worked closely with the Hindu right-wing organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) who are also claiming to “pacify” certain segments of the Sikh Nationalists and bring them into the Indian mainstream.
In December of 2000, Panthic Weekly uncovered memos sent by Tarlochan Singh on behalf of the RSS requesting the Hindu organization’s future participation in Sikh events.
Oddly, Josh was appointed to the NCM panel due to his Sikh background. One must ask, that if he claims that Sikhs are part of the Hindu majority, how can he represent a community that he states does not exist ?
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