Published On: Tue, Nov 25th, 2014

Navjot Sidhu caught in Gurbani row

JALANDHAR (Nov 25th) : Cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu was once again in the eye of a political storm after he was accused of wrongly attributing the words of Gurbani by the fifth Sikh master, Guru Arjan Dev, during his speech in Ludhiana a week ago. Sidhu apparently attributed the Guru’s words to Arjun of the Mahabharata, which led to allegations of blasphemy.

The TV personality and former MP, however, accused the SAD of proxy war and said that he was being targeted by the ally partners as he has been openly talking about their misrule. He added that if a religious leader questioned him on the issue, he would bow before him but would not “bow before those who are fighting through proxy”.

While one complaint has already reached the Akal Takht, the highest temporal body of Sikhs, a police complaint has also been registered in Jalandhar.

Sidhu is accused of distorting the line “Jaa Toon Mere Wall Hai Taan Kia Mohchhanda, Tudh Sabh Kichh Menu Saunpia Jaa Tera Banda” (When you are on my side, Lord, then what do I need to worry about).

The Sikh religion is extremely sensitive about any distortion in its religious texts. During the Lok Sabha elections in May, Punjab minister Bikram Majithia was accused of distorting a shabad or hymn after which he had to repent.

Sidhu had apparently made the alleged distortion on November 16 in the same speech where he had attacked the SAD with his “sewa-mewa” comments, leading to Akalis asking the BJP to rein him in.

Akal Takht jathedar Gurbachan Singh said that he had heard the clip of Sidhu’s speech and he wrongly used the line from Gurbani. He, however, held that a decision on any action against the former BJP MP from Amritsar would only be taken after discussing the issue with other high priests.

On Monday, a complaint was submitted to Jalandhar commissioner of police Yurinder Singh Hayer by Sikh Talmel Committee which demanded that Sidhu should be booked for hurting religious sentiments. The committee also accused him of twisting Gurbani at the behest of RSS, which could jeopardize peace in Punjab.

The Sikh Council has also said it would lodge a complaint with the police as well as with the Akal Takht on Tuesday. Council leaders, led by Chiranjeev Singh Lalli, who is SAD’s press secretary for the Jalandhar urban unit, said Sidhu committed a blasphemy. Lalli insisted he was outraged as a Sikh, not as an SAD leader.

“Timid, weak and frustrated people resort to lodging complaints,” Sidhu told media. “When they can’t fight openly, they fight through proxy and indulge in backstabbing. They are using religion to fight their political battle. Two top leaders of the SAD are getting such complaints lodged when they don’t have the guts to launch a frontal attack. If they will try to target me in a wrong way I’ll retaliate in the same way and will not give even an inch.”

He added that he had no grudges against those who were lodging complaints as they are doing somebody else’s bidding. He also claimed that his comments were being taken out of context while his speech should be seen in its entirety. “I was speaking about Dharam and Adharam and I quoted from Gurbani in this context without subscribing it to anybody,” he said.