A Panthic Network - Khalsa Press Publication, ISSN: 1930-0107

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"ਲੱਗੀ ਧਮਕ ਸਾਰੇ ਹਿੰਦੁਸਤਾਨ ਅੰਦਰ, ਦਿੱਲੀ, ਆਗਰੇ, ਹਾਂਸੀ ਹਸਾਰ ਮੀਆਂ। ਬੀਕਾਨੇਰ, ਲਖਨਊ, ਅਜਮੇਰ, ਜੈਪੁਰ, ਪਈਆਂ ਭਾਜੜਾਂ ਜਮਨਾ ਤੋਂ ਪਾਰ ਮੀਆਂ। ਚੱਲੀ ਸਭ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਦੀ ਬਾਦਸ਼ਾਹੀ, ਨਹੀਂ ਦਲਾਂ ਦਾ ਅੰਤ ਸ਼ੁਮਾਰ ਮੀਆਂ। ਸ਼ਾਹ ਮੁਹੰਮਦਾ ਕਿਸੇ ਨਾ ਅਟਕਣਾ ਈਂ, ਸਿੰਘ ਰਹਿਣਗੇ ਦਿੱਲੀ ਨੂੰ ਮਾਰ ਮੀਆਂ।(੬੩)"
- Shah Mohammed (Jangnama)

Badal Gang Forces Giani Joginder Singh to Resign

August 8, 2008
Source: Khalsa Press

Sri Amritsar Sahib (KP) - After having served as the Akal Takht Sahib Jathedar for over six years, Singh Sahib Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti submitted his resignation as the Jathedar of this apex Takht to the SGPC “based on health reasons” —although it has since come out that the resignation was likely forced by the SGPC.

The resignation was handed over to the SGPC at Gurdwara Chevi Patshahi Kurukshetra, where the SGPC rapidly and unilaterally appointed Singh Sahib Giani Gurbachan Singh, head granthi at Darbar Sahib, as the Takht’s acting Jathedar without consultation with the rest of the Panth. Unilateral appointment of the Panth’s jathedar has happened previously in recent years, ignoring the age old tradition of democratically appointing the jathedar via Sarbat Khalsa.

The decision to accept Jathedar Vedanti’s resignation and of appointing a new acting Jathedar was formally made by Avtar Makkar, President of the SGPC. He announced that Giani Gurbachan Singh will be installed as the Takht Jathedar on August 7th.

Following these declarations by the SGPC President, several organizations raised concerns over the level of the SGPC’s involvement in Akal Takht Sahib’s working and over the unceremonial replacement of Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti. Avtar Makkar however lashed out during a press conference and held that those individuals who are now questioning Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti’s resignation have in the past demanded the same from him.
At the meeting which took place in Kurukshetra, some SGPC members also raised concerns over the removal of Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti. These members included Karnail Singh Panjauli and Gurwinder Singh Shampura whose comments were swiftly ignored.

Later, addressing a group of press reporters, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti alleged that he was forced to step down from the position at Akal Takht Sahib. Vedanti alleged that he was asked to step down for “ill-health” or face expulsion—over which he had no control.

It is believed that Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti’s recent remarks praising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a source of inspiration for the Sikhs cost him his position. Manmohan Singh, a member of the Congress Party, is currently facing harsh opposition from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as they seek to replace him as the country’s Prime Minister in the forth coming elections. The Akali Dal (Badal), which has a strong grip on the SGPC’s internal and external affairs, hold an alliance with the BJP.

It is also believed that Giani Joginder Singh’s attendance at pro-Khalistan and anti-RSS events in the United States and England were also the main factors that led to his ‘forced-resignation’. Recently on his trip to the United States and England, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti had won the support of pro-Khalistan organizations by declaring that an independent state was the right of the Sikh Nation.

As Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti currently enjoyed support from Khalistani organizations, it is believed that the matter of his forced resignation will elevate to become a big issue. Anti-SAD and SGPC individuals and organizations could now easily ally with Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti into leading a strong campaign maligning the two organizations for their anti-Panthic acts.

Meanwhile, the SGPC, already aware of this fact after ousting Giani Vedanti from his post on alleged “health grounds”, has already established efforts to keep Giani Joginder Singh’s support. Soon after removing him from his position, Avtar Makkar, accompanied by Daljit Singh Cheema, paid a visit to the former Jathedar’s residence and tried to befriend him so that he doesn’t rebel against the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) in the near future. Vedanti was assured that his SGPC allotted vehicles and house will not be taken back, while the SGPC will also provide him with a reputable job status.

Along with the worry of revolt against the SAD, the SGPC President’s actions seem to be triggered by the fact that the DSGMC also offered a high-status position to Giani Vedanti. Shiromani Akali Dal and Delhi Shiromani Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) are rival parties. For Vedanti to join hands with DSGMC would be shameful for the SAD. While controlling the damage, Makkar announced that Giani Vedanti will soon be honored at Akal Takht Sahib for his valuable contributions to the Panth.

It was also learned that Jathedar Vedanti has raised talks with several anti-SAD leaders regarding his unceremonial replacement. So far, Vedanti’s visit to Manjit Singh Calcutta’s residence has been highly publicized by the media. According to confirmations by Vedanti’s confidants, his resignation was forced by the SAD and SGPC as Vedanti had spoken in favor of Khalistan at the recent Washington DC Sikh parade.


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