Government and the Sikhs : The Tribune India

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Lahore, Friday, April 18, 1924

Government and the Sikhs



WE agree with Sardar Mangal Singh, President of the Central Sikh League, that in appointing a committee “to ascertain the wishes of those considered most competent to advise and report as to the principles on which a measure might be framed for dealing with the administration and management of Sikh gurdwaras and shrines,” without first creating the conditions in which such an inquiry could be made with any expectation of its leading to fruitful results, the Punjab Government has put the cart before the horse. The committee is to ascertain the wishes of those most competent to advise. How on earth is it to do so when most of those who are “competent to advise the government” are in prison? Are these men to be ignored or are they to be consulted with the halter of convictions, actual or potential, around their neck? And should not past experience have told the Punjab Government that there was no likelihood of the Sikh community generally or its vocal section in particular considering any proposal for gurdwara reform or, indeed, for any other purpose, so long as so many of its representatives and leaders were in prison because of their very zeal for religious reform? It was on this precise rock that most of the previous attempts at a solution of the problem were wrecked, and the fact that another attempt is being made in the same direction without keeping clear of the dangerous rock shows that the Punjab Government is either unwilling or unable to profit even by its own recent experience. In truth, it is absurd for the Government to think of solving the Sikh problem with the SGPC declared as an unlawful body and with its most distinguished leader rotting in prison.

#Sikhs


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