Taking a spectacular U-turn on the secular announcement, the Gurudwara Singh Sabha Committee of Gurugram on Friday (November 19) remarked that it will not allow Muslims to offer namaz in the compounds of the Gurudwara. A day before, Sherdil Singh Sandhu, president, Gurdwara Guru Singh Sabha, had offered the space to Muslims to offer their prayers following complaints by the local residents of Muslims hijacking public places to perform namaz.
However, after the members of the Sikh community and the committee opposed Sherdil’s decision, the Muslims were turned away. Reportedly, taking a complete 180 on his stance, the president of the shrine management committee argued that the intention was never to give away the space for prayers.
Sherdil said, “It was out of concern and brotherhood that I said that they can use our space to offer namaz. This is not possible in any way. How can we let our religious place get into any kind of controversy? Anyone it was can use Guru ka darbar in case of an emergency,”
After international headlines, ground reality as published in HT today: pic.twitter.com/MXTEHU8gWg
— Swati Goel Sharma (@swati_gs) November 20, 2021
However, not everyone in the Sikh community sugarcoat the reality of the situation like Sherdil. One local resident named Gurcharan Singh was quoted as saying by India Today, “People from all religions are welcome but there can only be gurbani in a gurdwara and nothing else. The property of a gurdwara cannot be used for any purpose which goes against the ‘maryada’ (customs) of Shri Guru Granth Sahibji,”
Earlier, Sherdil in his announcement of opening Gurudwara to Muslims was quoted as saying by ANI, “It’s ‘Guru Ghar’, open for all communities with no discrimination. There shouldn’t be any politics here. Basement is now open for Muslim brothers who want to offer ‘Jumme ki namaz’”
Gurugram's Sadar Bazaar Gurudwara offers space for Namaz
It's 'Guru Ghar', open for all communities with no discrimination. There shouldn't be any politics here. Basement is now open for Muslim brothers who want to offer 'Jumme ki namaz': Sherdil Singh Sidhu Gurudwara president pic.twitter.com/6gNW3eSuAz
— ANI (@ANI) November 18, 2021
According to ANI, Sandhu had further said: “If there’s an open space, Muslims should be allowed to offer namaz… and we shouldn’t fight over such petty issues. People who were offering namaz in open sought administration’s permission and those who had problem should have approached admin before attacking them.”
Allowing Muslims in Gurudwara – the secular opium:
Sherdil’s decision to allow the Muslims to offer prayers in the Gurudwara had brought the entire left-liberal cabal together which started preaching Hindus about tolerance and the virtue of co-existence. However, the committee’s decision to backtrack on the decision within a day has left the entire cabal with eggs on their faces.
Gurugram police and its baffling behavior:
It all started in September, when a video went viral on the realms of social media platforms, where local Gurugram residents were seen pleading before the Gurugram police to remove a group of Muslims, hogging space on a public road, and offering namaz. However, turning a deaf ear to their pleas, the Gurugram police simply walked away.
It later tweeted a baffling update to wash its hands off the controversy, which it was forced to delete. In the tweet, Gurgaon Police had remarked, “The ‘Namaz’ spots at public places have been decided by both Hindu and Muslim communities after mutual understanding and this place is one among them. Maintaining communal harmony and peace is our utmost responsibility and we will ensure that. @PMOIndia @cmohry @police_haryana”
Tweet deleted pic.twitter.com/z9NP4wqAnz
— Swati Goel Sharma (@swati_gs) September 29, 2021
Sensing the police was not helping their cause, the Hindus decided to retaliate and recently performed Govardhan Pooja at the namaz site of Muslims. On November 5, Samyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti organized the holy Govardhan Pooja on sector 12A road in Gurugram.
Since the row in Gurugram began, the number of sites designated for Namaz has come down from 37 to 20 now, indicating that the efforts of Hindus are bearing fruits. The Gurugram administration is slowly waking up.
According to a report by NDTV, Gurugram authorities have told the Muslims that the permission granted for namaz will be canceled if there are objections from locals. Earlier this month, permissions to offer namaz at eight of those “designated” places were canceled due to this very reason, as more and more locals in Gurugram are standing up against the illegal occupation of public roads for religious purposes.
The Gurudwara president’s heart may have been in the right place to offer space to the Muslims, but if the love is not reciprocated by the other community in a similar manner, the secularism rhetoric appears empty. The Gurudwara committee found it the hard way.