@ Vikash Sharma | Sr Journalist
NEW DELHI — The Delhi Akali chief took a strong exception to UP CM Yogi Adityanath asserting superiority of one Santani tradition over the country’s vast array of faiths and belief systems.
“The ideology Yogi Ji is trying to propagate is no different from the one that caused the partition of the subcontinent in 1947,” cautioned Paramjit Singh Sarna. “Asserting the superiority of one Sanatani tradition over innumerable other traditions, faiths, customs of this huge landscape is a recipe for breaking the unity and integrity of our country.”
The Akali leader reminded the Uttar Pradesh chief minister that elected lawmakers like him are oath-bound to treat every citizen equally and respect every custom and tradition.
“But the school of thought Yogiji espouses is so narrow that it gives no space even to Dravidian Hindu traditions because they exist outside the Hindi heartland, what to say of numerous other religions and belief systems.”
Sarna told the chief minister of India’s most populous state that he should devote his energy and time toward alleviating crippling poverty, inequities and illiteracy afflicting large swathes of Uttar Pradesh instead of trying to define people’s faiths.
“As a Sikh, I would not accept any definition about who Sikhs are because that’s something already defined by our Guru Sahiban,” Sarna remarked.
The UP CM has on several occasions carried Sri Guru Granth Sahib on his head, the Panthak leader noted. “So we expect that Yogiji would also be aware of what’s written in Sri Guru Granth Sahib.”
Sarna explained how Guru Arjan Sahib, the fifth Nanak, compiled writings of various thinkers, scholars, mystics and spiritual icons from disparate backgrounds as an ultimate tribute to the diverse creation of the Creator.
“From Baba Farid of Pak Pattan, Bengali poet Jaidev, Kabir, Dhanna, Namdev and so forth, the writings contained in Sri Guru Granth Sahib span 500 years of the most enduring and the most egalitarian thoughts. We expect Yogiji to respect all those traditions from the heart when he has carried Sri Guru Granth Sahib on his head.”
Sarna emphasised the distinct character of Sikhi as articulated by the Guru himself. “Guru Arjan Sahib himself wrote ‘Naa Hum Hindu, N Mussalman, Allah Ram Ke Pind Praan’. So we, as Sikhs, need no definition of who Sikhs are from anyone else, Including Yogiji.”