Akal takht jathedar urged sikhs to possess weapon

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh said that every Sikh should possess a licensed modern weapon because “such are the times”. Akal Takht is the highest temporal seat of Sikhs. Akal Takth head’s statement came a week before the 38th anniversary of Operation Bluestar, when the then Union government had not only demolished ‘Sri Akal Takth Sahib’ but also attacked the ‘Sri Harmandir Sahib’, the sacred shrine of the Sikh community. Many experts justified it saying that there is nothing wrong in keeping weapons for self-defence, considering the state of minorities in the country. Jalandhar-based BBC journalist Pal Singh Nauli said, “India has gradually become a dangerous country for minorities. Look at the condition of Muslims as BJP-RSS created a narrative against the Muslims and then promoted it by repeatedly intimidating and beating them publicly. In such a scenario, it seems that Giani Harpreet Singh issued the statement after deeply thinking about all these issues. He added that although Modi government is making desperate attempts to woo the Sikhs, but one cannot turn a blind eye to the treatment meted out to the minorities in the country.” Bibi Kiranjot Kaur, granddaughter of Master Tara Singh, who was one of the founding members of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) said, “Who does not know how Sikhs were killed and attacked in November 1984? Had the Sikhs kept weapons at that time, amount of loss would not have been so severe. I think that if law and order problems deteriorate, there is nothing wrong with keeping licensed weapons for self-defence. Weapons are not banned in Sikhism.” Former SGPC Chief and former SAD MLA, Bibi Jagir Kaur, also defended Giani Harpreet Singh’s statement and said that he was simply asking the Sikhs to keep ‘licensed’ weapons, that too for self-defence.