Chandigarh, Jan 7 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday expressed deep concern over the Akal Takht acting Jathedar’s remarks that Sikhs were not safe even in India, and asked the Takht to put pressure on the Akalis to sever all ties with the ruling alliance at the Centre, which had been unable to ensure a sense of safety among the minorities in the country.
While he himself did not agree with the Akal Takht Jathedar’s remarks that Sikhs were not safe in India, the Chief Minister said that if he did feel that way then he should take up the matter with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and ask them to leave the BJP-led coalition government at the Centre, of which they are a part.
Unlike Pakistan, India had always taken pride in being a secular nation, with no discrimination on religious grounds, said Amarinder Singh, adding that any feeling among the Sikh community that they were not secure here was a matter of grave concern.
If Sikhs were feeling insecure in this country, as stated by the acting Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Harpreet Singh, then it was the dispensation at the Centre which was to blame, he stressed.
Given that the Akalis claim to be the custodians of the Sikh religion, and the community, they should take a stand on the issue, and SAD chief Sukhbir Badal should also ask his wife, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, to resign immediately as a Union Minister, the Chief Minister said.
Amarinder Singh said while some incidents here and there could not be construed to be a case of Sikhs not being safe in India, perception was as important as reality.
The Sikhs had lived through a very dark period in the 1980s and any feeling of being at the receiving end in any way would revive their sense of fear, which would be detrimental to the community’s interest, as well as that of the nation, he added.