Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today said only a Congress government, which had always treated Sikh religion and its institutions callously, could scrap the holy day to mark the creation of the Khalsa from the official list of holidays in Punjab.In a statement here, the SAD president said the same Congress party was responsible for attacking Sri Harmandar Sahib with tanks besides perpetrating the worst genocide against the Sikh community in 1984. “Only such a party could scrap the holy day of Baisakhi from the list of government holidays. By doing so it has again poured salt over the wounds of the Sikh community which will never tolerate this attack on its religious tradition and practices”.Demanding an immediate rollback of this decision, Mr Sukhbir Badal said it was shocking that the Congress government had tried to belittle the historic significance of Baisakhi on which day Sri Guru Gobind Singh created the Khalsa panth in 1699. “Baishakhi is celebrated by one and all as it also marks the arrival of the spring harvest. On this occasion people visit gurdwaras and community fairs besides participating in nagar kirtans. Special celebrations are held at Amritsar, Anandpur Sahib and Talwandi Sabo on the occasion. Stopping people from attending these is an anti-Punjabi step which we will oppose tooth and nail”.
Stating that no government could be allowed to show abject disrespect to the common Punjabi heritage, Mr Badal said the government must understand that it cannot do any governance what to talk of better governance by insulting the emotions of its citizens. “The insult to the Guru’s day of creation is unacceptable and this arbitrary decision must be rescinded immediately”, he added.Mr Badal said as far as reviewing list of holidays was concerned, this should have been done only after adequate consultation and consensus instead of riding roughshod over the sentiments of everyone by adopting an arrogant and dictatorial attitude. “There is tremendous resentment also on why the government is not commemorating the martyrdom day of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur, installation day of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Mahashivratri besides Eid-ul-Zuha and days associated with martyrs. The government should take immediate remedial action”, he added. EOM