Akali Dal accuses Congress of distortion of Sikh history in books

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Chandigarh, Oct 30 (IANS) Accusing the Congress government in Punjab of a “deep-rooted conspiracy” to distort Sikh history in textbooks for students of senior classes in Punjab schools, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is all set for an agitation over the issue.

SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal will launch a struggle against the distortion of Sikh history after party leaders perform an ‘Ardas’ (religious ceremony) at the Akal Takht Sahib (inside the Golden Temple complex) on November 1, party leaders said here on TUesday.

The Akali Dal has announced that it would launch a “a massive struggle” to force Punjab’s ruling Congress to “apologize to the Khalsa Panth for deliberate and persistent insults cast against the Gurus” in the history books meant for 10+2 students in Punjab School Education Board (PSEB).

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“We will bring Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and the Congress government in Punjab down on their knees for the brazen assault on the sacred image of the great Sikh Guru Sahiban, especially Guru Arjan Devji, Gur Hargoibindji, Gur Tegh Bahadur Sahib and the 10th master Guru Gobind Singhji. The details of the struggle will be announced in Amritsar after the Ardas,” Badal told media here on Monday.

He demanded an immediate apology from the Chief Minister and the Congress government.

Badal also demanded the registration of criminal cases against those associated with the preparation of such outrageous sacrilegious material and their dismissal.

“The new books containing these humiliating portions must be banned and withdrawn immediately and replaced with the old books which had been in use for decades,” Badal said.

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The SAD Core Committee held an emergency meeting at the party headquarters here on Monday to consider the issue.

Former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) President Gobind Singh Longowal also attended the meeting.

Badal said: “It is hard to believe that these scurrilous and sacrilegious distortions of history had been included after the Punjab government had earlier been forced to remove some other similar sacrilegious portions from the same books.

“This shows that this is not an inadvertent act, but that the Congress government is working on a deep rooted conspiracy to destroy and disfigure the history of the great Guru Sahibaan. The Khalsa Panth, the entire Punjab and the SAD would never tolerate this,” he added.

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Badal pointed out that the new history books of the Punjab government claimed that the fifth guru, Arjan Dev, was “not martyred by the Mughals but was merely fined”.

“The book also says that the Guru patronized criminal elements. On the 6th Guru, Hargobind Rai, the history book says that the Mughals’ differences with him were not because of any ideological or religious reasons but because the Guru was a hunter and kept hunting dogs. The books also claim that Guru Gobind Singh deserted the battle of Chamkaur Sahib without informing anyone,” Badal added.

–IANS

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