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  1. Rid gurdwaras of politics, say Sikh intellectuals Posted at: Jun 8 2015 1:09AM Perneet Singh Tribune News Service Amritsar, June 7 Perturbed over another clash at the Golden Temple Complex on the Operation Bluestar anniversary, Sikh intellectuals say this disturbing trend reflects the community in poor light. They believe there is an urgent need to rid gurdwaras of politics while those associated with the SGPC are seeking a thorough probe into the incident to expose the forces behind it. Talking to The Tribune, former National Commission for Minorities chairman Tarlochan Singh termed it a consequence of leadership failure. The post of Jathedar has been reduced to a mere decorative one as they neither have the authority nor any following. He also raised a question mark over organising such events at the Golden Temple complex. These are purely religious places for solace of mind and they should remain so. The holy shrine should not be turned into a political battleground. We should keep it free from politics, he said. According to him, incidents like yesterdays violent clash are damaging Sikh tenets and faith. He also wondered what people gain by brandishing swords at the Golden Temple complex. He said the religious places should not politicised and the jathedars should find a permanent solution to it. Noted Sikh scholar Ashok Singh Bagrian also felt that the first thing that needs to be done today is to divest gurdwaras of politics. This (yesterdays clash) is the result of politics dominating the gurdwaras. People must understand that a gurdwara is not a place to fight. The community as a whole should raise the voice on this issue. It is never too late. He also wondered why political leaders were totally silent on the issue. SGPC member Bibi Kiranjot Kaur felt that the community has suffered a lot after Operation Bluestar but there has been no sense of closure at all. She said todays youth are directionless as there is no Sikh leader (non-political) who can channelise their energy in a positive manner and guide them. She said the sort of hooliganism which was resorted to by Sikh youths in yesterdays clash was damaging to the community. She said it needs to be investigated that while nothing happened in the first 30 years, why such clashes have been taking place on the anniversary over the past couple of years. Who is sending these youths many of whom are clean-shaved? Why are they creating fear among devotees by brandishing swords? All this needs to be thoroughly probed, she said. Former Guru Nanak Dev University VC SP Singh said it reflects an undercurrent of some sort of resentment with the Panthic policy of those at the helm of affairs. He said this undercurrent needs to be checked as it is not a healthy sign. If ignored, the resentment will only increase, which will lead to an alarming situation, he added. Former SGPC secretary Kulwant Singh justified the action taken by the SGPC task force against the Sikh youth. While the SGPC task forces action was flayed last year, it was not the case this time, he added. Source - http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/rid-gurdwaras-of-politics-say-sikh-intellectuals/90946.html
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