Himachal govt bans flags glorifying Bhindranwale, SPGC says he was ‘Qaumi Yodha’

The government of Himachal Pradesh decided that flags featuring Bhindranwale’s face would not be allowed in the state. The problem came to light when residents of the towns of Jawalamukhi (ji) and Mandi complained about vehicles from Punjab entering Himachal Pradesh with flags celebrating Bhindranwale.

Now, there are reports suggesting that vehicles with Himachal license plates are stopped at the Punjab entry point.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur tried to calm the simmering tension by clarifying. He said that “we have great regard for the Nishan Sahib symbol and everyone is welcome to use it, but flags with Bhindranwale images will not be tolerated”. He also added that the matter had been taken up with Punjab.

Meanwhile, a video of some Ner Chowk people has gone viral. These people in the video claim that this part of Himachal was part of Punjab.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) got into the controversy. The SPGC has written a letter to the CM of Himachal opposing the banning of the Bhindranwale flag.

The letter states that Sikhs around the world respect Bhindranwale and regard him as their ideal and leader. The letter goes on to state that Bhindranwale has been declared ‘Qaumi Yodha’ by Akal Takht.

“To maintain communal peace and harmony in the country, as CM of the State, it is your duty to ensure the protection of the religious sentiments of all communities,” the letter reads.

“In a democratic country, citizens have every right to display, wear and endorse the pictures of their respective leaders or idols, and no such statement or decision should be made from the constitutional position,” he continues.

It should be remembered that Bhindranwale was a secessionist and for all intents and purposes a Republic terrorist as his end goal was the dismemberment of the homeland.

Although some believe that Bhindranwale’s frankenstein was created by Indira Gandhi to undermine Akali Dal in Punjab, over time Bhindranwale became a weapon of our neighbour’s asymmetric warfare strategy. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan decided to fuel regional insurgencies in India to avenge their abject defeat against India in the 1971 war.

Jagjit Singh Chohan played a crucial role in this unholy alliance against the Indian Republic. According to some records, he even met Pakistani army dictator Yahya Khan as early as 1971.

Dissolving the fissures of regionalism and caste remains a challenge.

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