|Tuesday, April 4, 2000,
Ranjit calls off Sarbat Khalsa
AMRITSAR, April 3 Bhai Ranjit Singh, a former Jathedar of Akal Takht, has withdrawn the call for holding a Sarbat Khalsa on Baisakhi at Anandpur Sahib to mark the conclusion of the tercentenary of the birth of Khalsa. The call of Sarbat Khalsa was given to find ways and means to restore the glory of Akal Takht.
Talking to newspersons at his residence here today, Bhai Ranjit Singh said that some Sikh intellectuals had opined that Sarbat Khalsa could not be convened at any place other than Akal Takht. I am withdrawing the call at the moment, he said. He, however, said that he would call Sarbat Khalsa at an appropriate time at Akal Takht.
While addressing a seminar on March 4 at Jalandhar, Bhai Ranjit Singh had announced that he would get acceptance as the real Jathedar of Akal Takht at the Sarbat Khalsa. This seminar was held in defiance of the directive of the then Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Puran Singh, that no meeting or conference could be held on the controversial Nanakshahi calendar or Akal Takht.
Taking serious note of the decision of the Sikh clergy after installation of Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti as acting Jathedar that the SGPC should set up a committee of Sikh intellectuals for deciding the jurisdiction of the Sikh clergy, Bhai Ranjit Singh said that the maryada established by Sikh gurus could not be changed. Sounding a note of warning, Bhai Ranjit Singh said that the SGPC had no locus standi to give guidance on the issuance of hukamanamas. He said he wont allow anybody to take anti-maryada decisions.
When asked the other reasons for withdrawing the call for a Sarbat Khalsa, Bhai Ranjit Singh said that he would remain busy in Delhi from April 12 to 16 in connection with the Baisakhi celebrations.
Bhai Ranjit Singh said that no excommunicated Sikh had the right to either sack or appoint any Jathedar. Hence the appointment of Giani, Joginder Singh Vedanti was in gross violation of maryada.
Lashing out at Mr Parkash Singh Badal, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Bhai Ranjit Singh said he was responsible for the denigration of maryada.
Ridiculing the purported
statement of the SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, that there
was no precedent of excommunicating any Sikh
from the Panth, Bhai Ranjit Singh said that the entire
Nirankari community was excommunicated in 1978, which was
accepted by the Sikh Panth. Many other Sikhs were
excommunicated for anti-Panthic activities, he
TOKYO, April 3 (Reuters, PTI) Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi was today in a coma on Monday after suffering a stroke, Acting Premier Mikio Aoki said amid signs the government had begun a search for his successor.
Mr Obuchi was breathing only with the help of an artificial respirator in an intensive care unit at a hospital here where he was taken early the day before, Mr Aoki, who took over as caretaker today morning, told a news conference.
At this point, it is difficult for the Premier to make his own decisions, Mr Aoki said. We will have to decide what to do after considering his condition, he remarked.
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