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Thursday, Sep 23, 2021
Outlook.com

Rocking To A Pardon

Ram Rahim places himself in SAD camp

Rocking To A Pardon
Fotocorp (From Outlook Issue 12 October 2015)
Rocking To A Pardon
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Last week, the Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of Sikhs at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, pardoned Gurmeet Ram Rahim, head of the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, for ‘blasphemy’ committed in 2007. The pardon—which many say has been secretly and politically managed—not only ends nearly eight years of effective ostracism, it brings the controversial godman in alignment with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). Gurmeet Ram Rahim has never ceased to amaze followers and detractors alike with such expedient political calisthenics.

To understand the ramifications of the pardon by the five head priests of Sikhism, it is important to go back to 2007, when Ram Rahim allegedly attired himself like Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru. Sikhs were enraged, and the Akal Takht had issued a hukumnama to boycott the Dera. There were anti-Dera riots in Punjab, and Ram Rahim had refrained from visiting the state. It’s well known that the SAD had fanned the anti-Dera sentiment, part of the animus driven by the Dera’s support of the Congress in the 2007...

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