After facing flak from various Panthic organisations on the decision to participate in Kumbh Mela, which started Monday, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief, Avtar Singh Makkar, is now facing revolt from within the Sikh body.
“SGPC is participating in Kumbh Mela not to promote Sikhism but to prove that the Sikhs are part of Hindus. This participation can not be seen as representation of Sikh community. Only a political group influenced by RSS has joined. Sikh intellectuals and organisations have registered their opposition to this move of SGPC. Even the members from the ruling SAD opposed this decision. It is a Hindu tradition to take a holy dip during the Kumbh. It is for those who have faith in that philosophy, but the Sikh gurus have clearly rejected such holy baths,” said Hardeep Singh, member SGPC.
Rajinder Singh, a member of Khalsa Panchayat too questioned the move saying that the SGPC “has added a black chapter in the Sikh history by joining those who do not even recognize Sikhism as a separate religion”. “Sikh affairs are not safe with the present management of SGPC. In the past, anti-Sikh forces were working from outside, but now they have full control from within these Sikh institutions,” he added.
Similarly, Karnail Singh Peer Mmohamad of All India Sikh Students Federation said alleged that SGPC has failed to perform its real duties and was “trying to dilute Gurmat.”
Sources said that a few senior members of the SGPC executive also had opposed Makkar’s plan during a meeting at Anandpur Sahib recently.
Contacted, Makkar said that there is an exhibition on Sikhism at the Mela for the spread of the religion. He said that founder of Sikh religion, Guru Nanak Dev, had visited Hardwar during one of his udasis and Gurdwara Gian Godri is also situated at Har Ki Pauri. Guru Amardass had also visited the city. Makkar further added that a langar will also be organised at the Kumbh Mela to make people aware of this unique concept started by Guru Nanak Dev.
He also lashed out at the Sikh leaders who had criticised SGPC for accepting invitation of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to attend the Kumbh Mela adding that such leaders were behaving in orthodox manner.