Punjab minister in trouble for adding Jaitley to hymn

Last Updated 28 April 2014, 15:55 IST

A Punjab minister has been declared 'Tankhaiya' (apostate) by one of the most sacred of Sikh shrines for distorting Gurbani while seeking victory for BJP's Amritsar candidate Arun Jaitley, forcing him to tender an apology.

The Jathedar of Takht Sachkhand Hazur Sahib in Nanded, one of the five seats of temporal authority in Sikhism where the faith's 10th guru Gobind Singh breathed his last, has declared Bikram Singh Majithia an apostatate for showing disrespect to the Sikh gurus.

"Yes, Majithia has been declared 'Tankhaiya' for showing disrespect to the sacred compositions of the Sikh Gurus," sources at the Takht said.

Majithia, who is handling the campaign of Jaitley, leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, is alleged to have inserted the BJP leader's name in a hymn by Guru Gobind Singh at an election rally recently to wish victory for him in the poll.

An outraged Sikh clergy was up in arms and demanded action against him even as the Congress sought a ban on his campaigning in Punjab.

The minister had later tendered an apology to Giani Gurbachan Singh, Jathedar of Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhism, but the Takht in Nanded was not mollified and issued a 'Hukamnama' (edict) against Majithia declaring him a 'Tankhaiya' yesterday.

Majithia, according to sources at the shrine, then tendered an apology to the clerics there. His letter of apology was discussed at a meeting of the the Takht functionaries today.

Following this another hukamnama was issued which said the minister had apologised and agreed to come to Nanded after elections and perform whatever seva (service) he is assigned to atone for his mistake.

"He will be forgiven only after he performs the seva," the sources said.

Jaitley is locked in a tense electoral battle with Punjab's former chief minister Amrinder Singh in Amritsar.

(Published 28 April 2014, 15:55 IST)

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