‘He violated the basic tenets of Sikhism by demanding quota for Jat Sikhs’

Radical Sikh organisation Dal Khalsa has appealed to the highest temporal authority of the Sikh community, the Akal Takht, to summon Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal for violating the basic tenets of Sikhism by demanding reservation for Jat Sikhs under the OBC quota.

The organisation appealed to the Union government to reverse its policies and grant 10 per cent reservation to Brahmins under various quotas and avoid unnecessary caste-based fissures in society. It warned political parties of serious repercussions if they continued to pursue their vested interests in vote- bank politics.

Through a statement that quoted its chief, H.S. Dhami, the Dal Khalsa charged Mr. Badal with going against the basic teachings of Sikh Gurus, who preached the creation of a casteless and classless society. Mr. Dhami said Mr. Badal owed an explanation to the community for adopting such an unprincipled stand.

Mr. Dhami said the competitive politics resorted to by the ruling Akali Dal and the Opposition Congress over the inclusion of Jat Sikhs in the OBC category would vitiate the fragile social fabric of Punjab, which was the only State where the grip of casteism had never been strong.

The Dal Khalsa was of the opinion that reservation for the Scheduled Castes was the first instance where the Sikh doctrine was reversed and the caste system was re-introduced in the community. A section in the Akali Dal had then believed that if the community was kept outside the fold of reservation, its downtrodden sections would shift back to Hinduism as well as the Congress.

The organisation feared that history was repeating itself, with the Congress and the Akali Dal targeting a particular vote-bank, this time the Jat Sikhs, who otherwise perceived themselves to be at the top of the social ladder.

“It is inconceivable as to how this section [Jat Sikhs] would reconcile [to] the so-called downgrading of its social status,” Mr. Dhami said.