Traditional temple

On the 38th anniversary of Operation Blue Star, Khalistan slogans chanted near the Golden Temple

New Delhi: Controversy reigned on the 38th anniversary of Operation Blue Star as members of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) hurled pro-Khalistan slogans near the Golden Temple on Monday while the Akal Takht jathedar called for young Sikhs to be trained in the use of traditional and modern weapons.

According to the PTI news agency, several people present at the Golden Temple in Amritsar held banners and placards reading “Khalistan Zindabad” and wore T-shirts with pictures of slain separatist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale printed on them. above.

Pro-Khalistan slogans were also waved by activists from the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) group led by former MP Simranjit Singh Mann, also present at the scene.

Operation Blue Star was a military operation in which the Golden Temple was stormed by security forces to confront separatist militants. The temple was badly damaged during the operation.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the supreme religious body of the Sikhs, has exhibited the holy bullet-riddled ‘Saroop’ (volume) of the Guru Granth Sahib. The ‘Saroop’, which was then installed in the sanctum sanctorum, was hit by bullets during the military action of 1984.

Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place in Amritsar to ensure the smooth running of the event.

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh and others mark the 38th anniversary of Operation Blue Star in Amritsar, June 6, 2022. Photo: PTI

PTI also reported that Giani Harpreet Singh, the Akal Takht jathedar, said he was “concerned about the spread of Christianity” in Punjab by the presence of “churches and mosques” in rural areas of the state. The Akal Takht is the highest Sikh temporal seat.

Delivering his customary address to the Sikh community from the Akal Takht podium to mark the anniversary of Operation Blue Star, Singh also said that the Sikh community should arrange for the training of young Sikhs in martial arts and to the use of weapons.

“Today, we are faced with several challenges that weaken us religiously, socially and economically. To weaken us on the religious front, strong publicity of Christianity is being carried out in Punjab,” he said.

The Jathedar of Akal Takht said that “churches and mosques” are being built in the villages of Punjab in numbers and noted that “this is a matter of concern and worry for us”.

This should be addressed by Sikh institutions and jathebandis (organizations) by showing up to preach the Sikh faith, as old Sikhs and saints did, he said.

He called on all prominent associates of the Sikh religion to visit the villages, especially the border villages, of the state and strengthen the Sikh religion.

The Jathedar stressed that the time had come to get out of the air-conditioned halls and said that Sikh preachers and scholars should travel to border areas to promote Sikhism and educate young people about rich Sikh principles and history.

“We have to understand that if we are weak on the religious front, we will not be strong on the economic and social fronts and then politically too, we will be weakened,” he said.

The jathedar said that Sikhs have been blessed with the determination of Raj (sovereignty) since the days of the Gurus (masters), which Sikhs still reiterate in their daily ardas as ‘Raj Karega Khalsa’.

“And to move in this direction, the Sikh youth will have to advance in the world by obtaining a quality education. At the same time, it is imperative that the Sikh community masters the inherited Sikh martial art,” he said.

He said the Sikh community should arrange for the training of the youths in Sikh Martial Art (Gatka) and other heritage weapons and also set up the firing ranges for modern weapons training as required. . The Jathedar also expressed concern over the threat of drugs that afflicts many young people and spoke of the need to combat this scourge.

Say that the “ghallughara (massacre) of June 1984″ is a painful saga of atrocities perpetrated against the Sikh community, the Jathedar questioned the massive deployment of forces by the government in the city of Amritsar during this period.

On this occasion, family members of several former terrorists were honored with ‘Siropaos’ (Robes of Honor) by Chief Granthi Giani Jagtar Singh, Giani Harpreet Singh and Chief SGPC Harjinder Singh Dhami.