The release of audios made of RSS protagonist and representative Rulda Singh has caused quite a stir amongst the various individuals and organizations that were named by Rulda. This week Panthic Weekly (PW) will share with its readers their reactions to the release of the Rulda audios so that they may judge for themselves the credibility of Rulda’s claims.
British Sikh Council's Reaction
Panthic Weekly was initially contacted by a representative of the British Sikh Council (BSC) who has preferred to remain anonymous, on behalf of one of its main directors Tarsem Singh . PW then spoke directly with Tarsem Singh. Though both BSC officials declined to make any public statements in regards to the Rulda articles, they assured PW that an official statement from their organization was forthcoming within a matter of days. It has been several weeks yet PW has not received any such statement.
The BSC representatives attempted to convince PW staff to retract published articles and then suggested that the BSC was contemplating suing Panthic Weekly for libel for publishing false information regarding their organization. Our staff rejected that claim and pointed out that PW has simply released original audio footage of an RSS agent’s conversations to the public, along with summaries of the transcripts. Our staff clearly told the BSC representative that they do not have any legal ground for such a case against PW, but that nevertheless if BSC should follow through with the threat of a libel lawsuit, Panthic Weekly was ready to challenge their claim. The representative then adjusted his stance and agreed that BSC had no basis for such a case and that such action was suggested by someone else outside of the BSC.
Both the BSC representative and Tarsem Singh then asked about the motive behind publishing such information at this time. Panthic Weekly had made it clear in its articles, and reiterated to the BSC that the sole purpose of bringing out these audios was to expose the hypocrisy of today's so-called Sikh leaders, and to hold them accountable for their actions. While the BSC agreed that PW was engaging in a worthy undertaking, they conversely stated that they did not agree with PW publishing this information because it cast them in a bad light.
Interestingly, both British Sikh Council representatives agreed that the BSC had met with Rulda Singh in India, and stressed that it was Baldev Singh (the self-styled head of the Prabandhki Panchain and the so-called Deputy of AKJI) who introduced them to the RSS and the BJP leadership. They stated that it was necessary to connect with the RSS because the BSC was on a ‘Kar-seva’ mission of building Gurdwaras in Nagpur (Maharashtra), and Guna (Madh Pardesh) for the Sikligar Sikhs, so they needed someone with contacts with the local and central government. Interestingly, they blamed Baldev Singh for publicizing the function held in Central India where the RSS spokesman was honored with siropas, and thus getting them in their current predicament. When PW asked them to make a public statement in regards to Rulda Singh or Baldev Singh, both BSC representatives declined the request.
Panthic Weekly also asked the BSC why is their organization supporting the likes of Baldev Singh who is reputed to be a government implant, and has hijacked the name, bank accounts and assets of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha. The BSC has declined to discuss this matter publicly, but has privately praised Baldev Singh and his actions to PW staff.
Baldev Singh’s Reaction
It took at least a half a dozen phone calls at various numbers, before PW Weekly finally located “Deputy” Baldev Singh and had a chance to interview him. Of all the individuals we interviewed in this series, Baldev Singh was perhaps the most rude and arrogant. He referred to himself as the only legitimate “Jathedar” of Akhand Kirtani Jatha International, even though Akhand Kirtani Jatha sangat at a worldwide level has removed him from their organization. At first he feigned ignorance of Panthic Weekly. Then in the same breath he quickly acknowledged that he had heard of it not only from Tarsem Singh of the BSC, who had just called him recently on this very subject, but also from his “PA” (personal assistant) who happened to be a reporter for a well-known newspaper in Punjab. (This explains why Baldev Singh’s statements and press releases are given wide publicity in the major newspapers in Punjab.)
He also verbalized his unhappiness with Panthic Weekly by using colorful Punjabi expletives and charged that we were being used by “CID” agents to defame him and the BSC. PW staff was taken aback at the type of language that Baldev Singh was using, but continued and kept a civil tone with him. Baldev Singh mentioned that he did not really know Rulda and that they were personally introduced by the British Sikh Council staff. This is in direct contradiction to the statements made by BSC representatives. He said he had never met Rulda Singh or anyone from the RSS until the BSC introduced them at the function at Guna, and that he never met him again. Later on, he admitted that he contacted and complained to Rulda Singh when his picture along with Rulda Singh’s and Jathedar Vedanti’s was leaked to the press.
He went on to say that he does not keep association with those who harm the Panth, and that he had sacrificed his entire life in service of the Panth. When asked about his association with the pro-BJP Parkash Badal , he snapped back and stated that Badal was one of the greatest Sikh leaders alive and his Jatha was fully committed to Badal Akali Dal and will stand shoulder to shoulder with them, because in the very end only Badal that will survive the politics of Punjab. He also stated that Badal is not the one to blame for the 1978 Vaisakhi massacre, and his loyalty to Sikhi could not be questioned.
Baldev Singh also expressed the support of Karnail Singh Peer Mohammad (head of the pro-Badal faction of the All India Sikh Students Federation), the Parbandhaki Panchain and other unscrupulous leaders in the Punjab political scene. He expressed the full support from various Sikh leaders in the UK for his activities, including Tarsem Singh and Kulwant Singh of the British Sikh Council and Avtar Singh Sanghera. Baldev Singh had no apologies for his association with the RSS, Badal, and the BSC. He even concluded our conversation by saying that PW should print the following declaration: “That Baldev Singh and the Parbandhaki Panchain are one single entity, and we stand with “Sardar” Parkash “Singh” Badal on all Panthic issues and matters, and have the backing of the UK Sangat, specifically the BSC.”
(Panthic Weekly has received official court documents known as the “Deed of Compromise” between Baldev Singh and the Parbandhaki Panchain detailing the illicit exchange of assets and funds worth millions of Rupees belonging to the Sangat worldwide, and the hijacking of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha. This information will be published in the near future.
Bhai Mokham Singh's Reaction
Mokham Singh, is the spokesman of the Damdami Taksal (Jatha Bhindran) faction headed by Harnam Singh ‘Dhumma’, its headquarters being at Mehta Chouk.
Mokham Singh, was by far was the most elegant speaker PW had interviewed for this series. He was very receptive throughout the interview, but was not forthcoming in divulging any details unless he was pressed to do so.
Similar to Baldev Singh, he also declared ignorance of Panthic Weekly but soon admitted that he had been approached by certain individuals regarding the publication of Rulda’s remarks in PW. PW asked Mokham Singh about what he knew about Rulda Singh of the RSS and how they were introduced. Mokham Singh stated that Rulda Singh had indeed been a student of the Taksal during Baba Kartar Singh Ji’s time, and that he was very young at that time and personally can not recall him from his time at Mehta Chowk, but that he had definitely studied there. Because of this past connection, the RSS chose him to interface between them and Sant Samaj and the Taksal.
Mokham Singh, kept interrupting and concluding that this was all “old news” and that we were basically “making a mountain out of a molehill for nothing”. He said that Rulda was not anybody important, especially now, since there is no central BJP government. When PW asked that “If Rulda is not of any importance then why was he involving himself with the leaders of almost every other Sikh organization, especially the ‘Khalistanis’ and so called “ex-militants”?” He later admitted that, yes, Rulda does have influence and connections in the RSS the BJP, and that since the Congress Party was no longer in power there was nothing wrong with dealing with the opposition, especially when it was being done transparently.
Mokham Singh then kept on insisting that we should not interview him but rather Baba (Sarbjot Singh) Bedi of the Sant-Samaj. He stated that Baba Bedi, Sant-Samaj’s previous Chairman, knew Rulda much more intimately than him, and that he was also the head of the delegation that dealt with Rulda and his party. PW replied that it was Mokham Singh whose name is mentioned again and again by Rulda so it was PW’s obligation to interview him. Similar to the BSC, he felt PW should not have published Rulda’s audios and that we were being used by some “clever” individuals who were manipulating us along with Rulda Singh.
When asked about the various meetings that took place Mokham Singh initially suggested there were only a few, When pressed he admitted there were about three, and that all of them were held in “public” and in front of all representatives of the Sant-Samaj and key members of Jatha Bhindran, He added that there was nothing to hide about these meetings. Mokham Singh said that details of all meetings were published in the press and the “Khalsa Khandaydar” magazine he publishes. He also stated that his remarks on Prof. Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar were taken out of context. According to Mokham Singh, he only praised Bhullar and said : “If you want to make him a Shaheed, then go ahead the Sikh nation will accept him as they have other Shaheeds in the past.”
Mokham Singh said that Baba Bedi and others in the Sant Samaj are witnesses to what he actually said to Rulda Singh since they were there at all meetings. PW then asked that was Baba Bedi at the meeting held at your residence? Taken aback by that question, Mokham Singh admitted that more than three meetings were held with the RSS and incidentally Baba Bedi did not partake in this meeting.. He tried to clarify that the place it was held was actually a residence used by another Singh from his Jatha, but then later said it was also known as his (Mokham Singh’s) residence. He would not divulge any details of the meeting that took place privately between him and the RSS representatives.
According to Rulda, the Professor Bhullar remarks were made not in the Sant Samaj or Baba Bedi’s presence but privately between Mokham Singh, Rulda and a couple of other RSS members.
Mokham Singh was also asked about why the RSS Chief KC Sudharshan was honored at Mehta Chowk . He stated that because they were not ordinary individuals, but an actual opposition party that now controlled the Central Government accompanied by the religious head of such a large organization and various ministers of the government, it was only customary to give them that respect which also included langar. Mokham Singh added that if this had happened at RSS headquarters or on another Panthic stage then we (Sant Samaj and the involved members) would have been “dendar” (guilty and accountable) to the Panth for honoring the RSS in this manner. This did not happen on a Panthic stage, but at our very home, he further added. “What is wrong with honoring someone who visits your own house, is he not a guest there?”, he quipped.
PW then asked Mokham Singh that if he was implying that Mehta Chowk where Baba Jarnail Singh Ji did seva, was not part of the Panth. He was then asked if he considered what goes on its stage to be irrelevant to the Panth? He agreed it was very much part of the Panth, but countered that what happens on a Panthic stage with the RSS cannot be equated to the activities at Mehta Chowk with RSS since they were “guests” visiting “our house.”
Mokham Singh again accused PW of working for someone who was interested in nothing other than causing friction between Panthic organizations, and that if PW really wants to get to bottom of anything they need to question Rulda Singh or the individuals who recorded him and not Mohkam Singh. PW asked whether Sikh leaders should be accountable and answerable to the Sikh Sangat. Bhai Mokham Singh agreed, and said he is accountable for what he does and has no issues with PW asking him about any of his or the Taksal’s activities. He concluded the conversation by adding: “After all, I am known as the spokesman of Taksal, so feel free to contact me in the future.”
The above interview ends our first series of reactions from the above named key figures. To many the Rulda audios seemed shocking, but after interviewing those involved, almost everything Rulda has stated has been verified, further providing legitimacy to his recordings. One question that begs to be asked is that if the Sant Samaj was interested in starting communications with the central Government and the Sikhs, why did it not get the rest of the Panth openly involved? Should not these meetings have been held between Akal Takht Sahib and the Central Government with involvement by all sections of the Sikh Panth, including our intelligentsia and political scientists? What was the harm in having the public involved ?
In summary PW can conclude with the following points from the thus far released Rulda recordings and interviews:
The British Sikh Council (BSC) representatives have indeed met with Rulda Singh and RSS representatives and participated in activities with the RSS during their stay in Central India.
Baldev Singh of AKJI/Parbandhaki Panchain has also kept close relations with the RSS, and also has participated in activities with the RSS and openly states he is pro-BJP/Badal.
Although the BSC and Baldev Singh blame each other for introducing Rulda Singh, they both admit dealing with the RSS in various matters.
Mokham Singh admits many meetings were held between the RSS and the Sant Samaj, that KC Sudarshan visited Mehta Chowk, and was honoured during his visit to the Taksal Headquarters.
Mokham Singh admitted that at least one meeting was held between him and the RSS at his residence. Though details of this meeting was not disclosed by Mohkam Singh some details are available in the Rulda audios.
So far, none of the above individuals has publicly refuted the statements made by Rulda.
The above meetings took place without any public acknowledgement, and Panthic input. Efforts were made to conceal the details of most of these meetings from the general public.
Any such meetings with the RSS and the BJP who have attempted to undermine the interests of the Khalsa Panth cannot be regarded as a trifle and must occur in an open formal fashion with all cards on the table. Panthic Weekly, an independent Sikh voice in the West, hopes that the sangat will be informed about what goes on in the Panth and spurred to get involved in ending such back room deals brokered by our so-called leaders. In the interest of our readers, all information is factual, unaltered, in context, verified.
It is up to the sangat to decide the rest...