CHANDIGARH: As many as 128 people belonging to 23 Majhbi Sikh families, who had embraced Christianity, returned to the tenets of Sikhism under the Ghar Wapsi campaign of the Dharam Jagran Manch amid opposition from both the SAD and the Congress.
In the presence of the mukh sewadar of Gurudwara Shiromani Shaheed Jeevan Singh Baba Manjit Singh, all 128 people marked their re-conversion into Sikhism. They were honoured with amulets bearing pictures of Guru Gobind Singh and Baba Jeevan Singh. All the members were given Japji Sahib and other religious booklets.
DJM Punjab chief Ram Gopal said that returning to one’s roots with Ghar Wapsi was every individual’s right. Welcoming SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar’s statement pertaining to the return of converted Sikhs to their parent religion, he said that Manch had helped in past, is helping now and will keep on helping the SGPC in the future to ensure the Ghar Wapsi of its people.
He added that the Majhbi Sikhs and Valmikis, who had shunned their religion due to allurement, now realised their mistake and were returning to their respective religions.
He appealed to the Punjab government to enact a law that would ban religious conversions in Punjab.
DJM state planning chief Dinesh Sharma said it was committed to bringing back Sikhs, who had embraced Christianity with the help of the Sikh Sant Samaj.
He added that this year alone, 700 poor families had marked their Ghar Wapsi in Amritsar alone.
Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal has flayed the “forced” religious conversions taking place in a few parts of the country, saying they were against the tenets of Sikhism. Badal said, “The Sikhs have never accepted forceful religious conversions. The entire Sikh history is replete with several episodes where our great Gurus and valiant Sikh warriors never bowed to the pressure exerted by the mighty rulers.”