Badal asks Amarinder to tender apology to Sikh community

Oct 31, 2018, 07:45 IST | PTI

he government's move had come after Akali Dal had accused the state government of hurting religious sentiments by allegedly including 'derogatory' references to the Sikh gurus in some chapters of the Class 12 PSEB history textbooks

Badal asks Amarinder to tender apology to Sikh community
Parkash Singh Badal

Shiromani Akali Dal veteran Parkash Singh Badal Tuesday asked Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to express 'remorse" and "apologise' to the Sikh community for allegedly 'denigrating' the Sikh gurus in the new class 12 history textbooks of the state education board. In a statement here, the five-time former chief minister said it was condemnable that Amarinder Singh has 'abrogated' his responsibility as the head of the state and refused to lodge a criminal case against those responsible for preparation and distribution of 'sacrilegious' material, which has 'assaulted' the Sikhs sensibilities. 'The mere withdrawal of the history book which launched a brazen assault on the sacred image of the great Sikh guru sahiban, especially Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Hargobind , Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib and the tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh is not enough," Badal said.

"The chief minister should own responsibility for this 'bajra paap' (grave sin) and apologise to the Khalsa Panth and seek its forgiveness immediately,' he demanded. Badal said the Congress government's refusal to bring the perpetrators of the "sacrilege", including the Punjab School Education Board chairman, indicated that there was a 'deep rooted conspiracy' to 'distort' the Sikh history and strike at the very core of the religion. 'This is also an attempt to sow the seeds of discord in young impressionable minds about the Sikh religion and take them away from it,' he claimed.

The former chief minister said all these distortions occurred after the Punjab government was forced to remove similar sacrilegious material from the same book, following which Amarinder Singh formed a committee to prepare new history books for classes 11 and 12. 'Now with even more serious distortions coming to the fore, it can only be assumed that the Congress government is working on a deliberate design to denigrate the Sikh community,' Badal alleged.

The Punjab chief minister had directed the PSEB Monday withdraw the new history textbooks for classes 11 and 12 and continue with the old ones prescribed for 2017-18 academic session till completion of the review of new books by an expert panel. The government's move had come after Akali Dal had accused the state government of hurting religious sentiments by allegedly including 'derogatory' references to the Sikh gurus in some chapters of the Class 12 PSEB history textbooks.

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