Sikhs greet RSS Brahmin with Swords
Asian Age, Sun. 30th April 2000
Swords greet RSS chief Sudarshan in ChandigarhBy Our Special Corespondent Chandigarh, April 29
Sikh women and men belonging to some 20 different religious, social and political organisations, brandished kirpans (swords) and chanted angry ?ban RSS? slogans outside the Chandigarh venue where Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh chief K.S. Sudarshan arrived to address a conclave of the RSS sister organisation, Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, on Saturday.
Referring to the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat as ?a bastard child of the RSS,? Kanwarpal Singh of the Dal Khalsa and Jagmohan Singh of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) said that ?for the past one year RSS activists have embarked upon a dangerous design to subsume Sikh religion into Hinduism.
Towards this objective, they have been publishing and distributing highly communal propaganda material of the kind that the Nirankaris did during the late 1970s. The setting up of the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat and by organising conclaves, they are now attempting to infiltrate into Sikh religion.?
Insisting that ?Sikhs are a separate nation, and any attempt to change this status in word or indeed, will be contested and resisted,? the leaders of the protesting Sikhs warned that ?though Sikhs are a peace-loving and god-fearing people, when all peaceful methods fail, then, as ordained by Guru Gobind Singh, ?it is righteous to take to the sword.??
They said that ?if the RSS is permitted to continue with its nefarious activities in Punjab, this will inevitably sooner or later lead to violent communal clashes in the state.? The protesters sought ?a complete and immediate ban on the RSS in Punjab to prevent the situation from deteriorating any further.? Five senior leaders among the protesting Sikhs also courted arrest in order to drive home their point.
Meanwhile, at the venue of the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat conclave inside the Sarvhitkari School in Chandigarh?s Sector 40, the organisers claimed that as many as 90 of the 100 invited delegates had arrived from all over Punjab to participate in the conclave.
Reflecting quite a contrary sentiment to that on the street outside, the Sangat president, Mr Charanjit Singh, publicly honoured RSS chief K.S. Sudarshan and thanked him and his organisation for spreading the word of Sikhism.
Mr Sudarshan proclaimed that ?in the firm belief that religion unites and politics divides people, the RSS has based a lot of its activities on the teachings of the Gurubani.? Proclaiming that ?Sikhs and Hindus shared their culture and traditions,? he said that the RSS is working hard to revive the old custom where the eldest son of every Hindu family was raised as a Sikh.? He also proclaimed the 10th Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh, as ?a national hero.
The dark mood of the protestors outside left hardly any doubt of the mean job that the RSS has ahead of it in Punjab. And this is despite, as the protesters say, the Parkash Singh Badal government?s patronage of the Hindu organisation.
-- Balwinder Singh,
Volume 2, Issue 3 (Apr. 1999)