A Sikh body on Saturday took exception to the description of militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale as bhasmasur (a demon) by BJP leader L K Advani in his autobiography and demanded a public apology from him.
''We always had a good relationship with BJP. But until and unless Advani apologises publicly for his remark, we are not going to support them,'' Paramjit Singh Sarna, President of the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee, told reporters.
''Bhindrawale is definitely a saint. He was a Sikh religious preacher who helped to remove many social evils like alcoholism,'' he claimed.
Advani in his autobiography Life, My Country, wrote, ''The history of militancy in Punjab clearly shows that Bhindrawale became a Bhasmasur.''
''After 24 years of the infamous 'Operation Blue Star', we now have written evidence in the form of Advani's book that apart from the Congress, BJP was also equally responsible for the massacre,'' Sarna alleged.
The committee also protested Advani's claim that Sikhs were part of Hindu religion. ''We won't tolerate this (theory). We never were part of Hindu civilisation. We won't compromise with Sikh principles,'' he said.
In his book Advani has written that the country ''just cannot accept Sikhs being separated from Hindus. Tradition and culture and families and even religion all are interlinked and intertwined inextricably''.
A sizeable section of the Sikh population holds the view opined by Mr. Advani. I come from a family which has both Sikh and Hindu members right from the start of the Sikhism. In fact, Shaheed-e-Aazam, Bhagat Singh's family were both Arya Samajists (Hindus) as well as Sikhs. I am a Sanatan Dharmi (Hindu) as well as a Sikh. It was due to the presence of the Sikhs like me that Khalistan could not come into being. However, I must admit that there is a sizeable section of the Sikhs who do not think themselves to be Hindus and who do not agree with Mr. Advani.
Those Sikhs who agree with Mr. Advani say that Sikhs' ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur ji laid down his life for the Hindu religion and Guru Gobind Singh ji created Khalsa for fighting the Mughals who tormented the Hindus. However, those who are opposed to Mr. Advani's point of view say that had Muslims been victim of repression, Guru Tegh Bahadur ji would have laid down his life for them. They also say that Guru Gobind Singh ji created Khalsa not only for fighting the opperessor, Mughals but also for fighting the cruel Hindu Kings of Himachal Pradesh. However, in my opinion, Advani need not apologize.