SGPC’s prerogative to hold main event: Badal - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Sunday, November 3, 2019

SGPC’s prerogative to hold main event: Badal

SGPC’s prerogative to hold main event: Badal

Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Tribune News Service

Badal (Muktsar), November 2

Ridiculing the controversy over various events being organised at Sultanpur Lodhi to mark the 550th Parkash Purb, SAD patron and former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, in an interview with The Tribune, said the SGPC, being the premier Sikh body, should hold the main function at Ber Sahib where Guru Nanak attained enlightenment. He said the government could be a facilitator, not the organiser. Here are the excerpts of the interview:

How do you view the ongoing preparations for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations?

I am so enthused with the fervour in connection with Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary that I will definitely visit Sultanpur Lodhi and Kartarpur. I must confess that my health does not permit me to travel comfortably, but, I have to go. I am just overwhelmed with selfless public faith.

The SGPC and Congress government have decided to set up separate stages at Sultanpur Lodhi. Any comments?

I don’t think there needs to be any confusion at all. The main function at Gurdwara Ber Sahib where Guru Nanak Dev attained enlightenment needs to be organised by the SGPC. The government can be a facilitator, not the organiser.

There are also reports that the PM’s function at Kartarpur Sahib would be held separately from the one planned by the state?

Everyone has the right to celebrate the occasion. The venue is also an individual choice. Nagar kirtans are being taken out all over the state. There are unnamed cyclists on the state roads spreading teachings of Guru Nanak. Hundreds of activities are going on silently. The occasion of Guru’s birth anniversary and the message of universal love is common to all.

Do you think the Congress or any individual is trying to take credit of holding grand festivities?

I don’t think the question has any meaning for me. I will never comment on an individual. I am only participating in the celebrations associated with the momentous and solemn occasion. Nothing else.

There are allegations that the SAD has complete say in the SGPC functioning. Any comments?

We have always been a part of the SGPC because of our faith. The SGPC is an elected body, which governs Sikh affairs. But we never influence the SGPC functioning.

What are your views on Pakistan seeking $20 fee from pilgrims?

It is unjustified. It amounts to ‘jaziya’. The state and Centre should contribute to its payment or maybe a tax could be levied on the residents. Charging money from pilgrims is absolutely wrong.

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