Finally, Giani Harpreet Singh, the SGPC-appointed acting Jathedar of Akal Takht, broke silence on the issue of Ram Temple being constructed in Ayodhya last week, stating, “The place where Ram Temple is being built up is important for Hindus. Equally important are the Gurdwaras for Sikhs, which were demolished in India.”
In a message shared with media, he said, “I congratulate Hindu society for construction of Ram Temple, but I would like to say that Gurdwara Gian Godri (Haridwar), Gurdwara Dangmar Sahib (Sikkim) and Gurdwara Mangu Mutt (Puri) are as important and sacred places for Sikhs as Ram Temple for Hindus.”
He urged the union government of India to pay heed toward these Gurdwaras and demanded them be restored so that Sikh could restart age-old Maryada there. He said these are sacred places for the Sikhs as these were visited by Guru Nanak Sahib, founder of the Sikh religion.
Commenting on the issue, the SGPC appointed jathedar also reiterated that the suspension of the pilgrimage to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib through the newly opened corridor must be lifted by the Indian government at the earliest. “The government allowed reopening the worship places in the country from July 7, but it has not allowed reopening the corridor,” he said.
“Kartarpur Sahib is very important for the Sikhs. This can be reopened by following the guidelines of the health department. The government should not deprive the Sikhs of visiting this holy place for so long,” he added.
A long-pending demand of the community residing in India and abroad, the corridor was opened in last year to give the Sikh devotees visa-free access to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur, last resting place of Guru Nanak. This is in the vicinity of the Indo-Pak border. The corridor was constructed from another historic town Dera Baba Nanak.
Notably, Giani Harpreet Singh who is vocal against the Hindu extremist organizations like Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and their agenda against minorities, skipped the Ayodhya event by ignoring the invitation he received for it. Prior to this, he had demanded a ban on the RSS while terming the ‘Hindu Rashtra’ statement of its chief, Mohan Bhagwat, divisive in October 2019.