Amritsar, Punjab: A day after some Sikh organisations objected to linking ‘Kalianwala Khu’ incident with the first war of freedom struggle, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) today sought a thorough investigation into its historical aspects.
As per a statement issued here, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar flayed the instance in which certain people burnt the effigy of noted Sikh historian Dr Kirpal Singh after his remarks on the issue. He said any such move against the renowned historian was highly condemnable. He demanded that the incident’s historical aspects should be probed. “The historians should throw light on the incident and any further action should be initiated on the basis of their findings,” he said.
Meanwhile, radical Sikh outfit Dal Khalsa questioned the ruling SAD’s wisdom in announcing the decision to raise a memorial for soldiers who died during the 1857 mutiny. Taking a jibe at the Akali Dal, Dal Khalsa leader Sarabjit Singh Ghuman said, “Those soldiers who became part of the British Army and participated in the Anglo-Sikh war to end the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh are being praised in the regime of Parkash Singh Badal, who claims that he is running his government on the lines of the Maharaja’s rule.”
He said historians like Dr Kirpal Singh, who has been accorded the title of ‘Professor of Sikhism’ by the Akal Takht, had revealed that these soldiers worked against the interests of Punjab and Sikh principles. He urged the Akal Takht Jathedar to stop the Akali Government from building the memorial. He said the gurdwara built in the name of these soldiers in Ajnala was also against the tenets of Sikhism. He said revelations made by experts should be an eye-opener for all political parties and individuals and they should stop terming these soldiers as “martyrs”.
On the other hand, Gurdwara Shaheed Ganj Management Committee chief Amarjit Singh Sarkaria, who led the excavation work at the historic well, termed the attempts to raise a question mark on the sacrifice of 1857 uprising martyrs as “divisive politics”.
He said the soldiers were discharging their duties when they fought against Sikhs but people must remember that they revolted against the same British for the country’s cause. He said those opposing the memorial should not forget that Sikhs too fought under the banner of British Army in World War I and II.
Charges and counter-charges
The historians should throw light on the incident and any further action should be initiated on the basis of their findings.
Avtar Singh Makkar, SGPC president
Those soldiers who became part of the British Army and participated in the Anglo-Sikh war are being praised.
Sarabjit Ghuman , Dal Khalsa leader
They were discharging their duties when they fought against Sikhs but we must remember that they also revolted against the British.
Amarjit Sarkaria, Shaheed Ganj Gurdwara