Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh said that he was surprised by the “volte-face” by the Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of the Sikhs, after it recently annulled its edict pardoning him over a blasphemy charge.
“I believe in and respect all religions,” he said in a statement here.
In response to a recent rescinding of order on him by the Akal Takht, he said, “I had signed the document as had been asked by the Akal Takht. I am surprised by the volte-face. In matters of religion, it is unusual for people to completely backtrack.”
He said that the previous edict of Akal Takht was welcomed by the Sikh intelligentsia who had given a call to society to accept it.
“However, it appeared that elements promoting animosity were behind the reversal, apart from political vested interests,” the statement read.
At a special meeting held at the Akal Takht, the Sikh clergy headed by Jathedar Gyani Gurbachan Singh had decided to annul its earlier edict issued on September 24 whereupon the Sirsa-based sect head was pardoned for appearing in an attire of Guru Gobind Singh during a religious congregation.
The Sikh community, hardliners and various other outfits were upset at the Akal Takht’s move pardoning the Dera chief without him making a personal appearance before the temporal seat of the Sikhs.
As per Sikh rituals and norms, any guilty person cannot be pardoned unless he physically appears before the Takht.
Reacting on the controversy over beef eating, he said “Not just beef- shun all kind kinds of meat.”
He said that slaughter of all animals and birds needed to be stopped.
“As per the scientific perspective, the human anatomy resembles that of herbivores. Meat persists in the digestive tract upto 48 hours and therefore, had a major role in the causation of colon cancer.
“No religion prescribes compulsory meat eating,” he added.