What is the best way possible to deal with chaos and anarchy? Well, I have no idea. But, Jathedar of the Akal Takht definitely has. As per Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh, every Sikh should try to keep a licensed weapon as it is the need of the hour.
The weird demand of Jathedar
On the occasion of the coronation day of the sixth guru Hargobind, Giani Singh, in a video message stated, “Every Sikh should try to keep licensed weapons because the time that is coming, and the circumstances which are going to prevail, demand it.”
“Sikh youth should be skillful in gatka (martial art) and shooting. Every Sikh should make himself or herself spiritually strong by reciting Gurbani (spiritual sayings) and meditating.”
In his video message, he also urged people to not consume drugs as it kills the conscience. “Drugs are destroying lives and families. They are killing our conscience and intellect,” he said.
Moving further, he also stated, “The only way out to stay away from drugs is to follow Gurbani and adopt the company of Sangat. These are the teachings of guru sahib.”
Read more: Why most Sikhs you find online hate Prime Minister Modi
“Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, who initiated the concept of Miri Piri (temporal power and spiritual authority), fought four battles against the then rulers and secured victory in all. He founded Sri Akal Takht Sahib and asked his disciples to become shastradhari (armed), besides becoming strong spiritually. He preached that every Sikh should learn horse riding and martial arts,” the Jathedar said.
Opposition criticises Jathedar
While there is a need for peace in the state, Jathedar Giani Singh can lead to spreading anarchy and chaos in the state. Former Deputy Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa criticised the statement asking why is it necessary to issue such a message.
“What is so alarming about the law and order situation in Punjab that the youths are being asked to seek a licence for arms,” asked Randhawa.
He also asked that keeping a kirpan for self-defence was mandatory as per Sikhism but what is the need for licensed weapons.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Harjeet Grewal targeted Giani, too slammed Giani saying that his message could be used to disrupt peace in the state. He also claimed that it was issued “to ensure the safety of his own seat and keeping Akalis relevant.”
Read more: After Udta Punjab, it’s time for Intolerant Punjab
Shiromani Akali Dal leader Daljit Singh Cheema, on the contrary, justified the statement by saying that “keeping weapons (kirpan) has been part of the religion and given the violence, some people are even keeping private security for their own safety, so there was no harm if people kept licensed weapons.”
While it cannot be denied that the multiple cases of violence, lynching and attacks have been witnessed in Punjab in the last few months, the solution by Jathedar Giani Singh to provide “Licensed Guns for all Sikhs” cannot be approved and justified.
Imagine a state with a majority of the people keeping guns. How can you expect that peace will prevail in the state? How is it justified for the whole state to keep guns to prevent violence? Well, Giani Singh should have thought twice before giving such a statement as his words can motivate many and what will transpire cannot be imagined.