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Sikhs safe in India, says Amarinder

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‘Akal Takht acting Jathedar should ask SAD to sever ties with BJP-led govt.’

A day after Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikh religion, acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh stated that Sikhs were not safe even in India, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said he did not agree with him.

Capt. Amarinder on Tuesday expressed concern over Akal Takht acting Jathedar’s remarks that Sikhs were not safe even in India, and asked the Takht to put pressure on the Shiromani Akali Dal to sever all ties with the ruling alliance at the Centre, which has been unable to ensure a sense of safety among the minorities in the country.

While he himself did not agree with the Akal Takht Jathedar’s remarks, the Chief Minister in a statement here said that if the former did feel that way then he should take up the matter with the SAD and ask them to leave the BJP-led coalition government at the Centre, of which they are a part.

“Unlike Pakistan, India had always taken pride in being a secular nation, with no discrimination on religious grounds,” said Capt. Amarinder, adding that any feeling among the Sikh community that they were not secure here was a matter of grave concern. “If Sikhs were feeling insecure in this country, as stated by the acting Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Harpreet Singh, then it was the dispensation at the Centre which was to blame,” he said.

Capt. Amarinder said that given that the Akalis’ claim to be the custodians of the Sikh religion, and the community, they should take a stand on the issue, and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal should also ask his wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal to resign immediately as a Union Minister.

Capt. Amarinder said that while some incidents here and there could not be construed to be a case of Sikhs not being safe in India, perception was as important as reality. “The Sikhs had lived through a very dark period in the 1980s and any feeling of being at the receiving end in any way would revive their sense of fear, which would be detrimental to the community’s interest, as well as that of the nation,” he added.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 8:22:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sikhs-safe-in-india-says-amarinder/article30507414.ece

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