The ban imposed on entry of Indian officials in some gurdwaras has riled the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat.
The Sangat, an affiliate of the ruling BJP’s ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has reacted strongly to the bar imposed by gurdwara management committee on officials representing India, its diplomats and other from entering the premises of these places of worship.
“It is without any provocation and uncalled for. There is an attempt to incite sentiment against India by some elements that are misguided or influenced by vested interests,” Gurcharan Singh Gill, national president of the Sangat, said.
A group of office-bearers claiming to represent more than a dozen gurdwaras in Ontario province had at a meeting held in Brampton, a suburb of Toronto, on December 30 resolved to ban the entry of Indian officials in the gurdwaras under their control due to “interference in the lives of Canadian Sikhs”.
On Friday, the Sikh Federation UK, a leading campaign group of the Sikh community, also proposed a similar measure in Britain, raising the issue of “increasing interference” and targeting of Sikhs from abroad in Punjab. The ban could extend to more than 100 gurdwaras in Britain, it said.
Gill said such actions would not help anyone – the organisation, the Sikh community or India.
“Whether they are in Canada, US, UK or any other country, the Sikhs have their roots in India which is always there for them as caretaker. Whenever anything goes wrong, (external affairs minister) Sushma Swaraj goes out of her way to help everyone,” he said.
The Sangat chief said he was getting calls after the gurdwara entry ban was announced in Canada and would try to find a solution through “samvad” (dialogue).