Apologize to Sikhs over textbook content: SGPC tells Amarinder

Chandigarh: The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Friday asked Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to “apologize” to the Sikh community for the distortion of Sikh history in revised textbooks of senior classes of Punjab School Education Board (PSEB).

Following a meeting of the SGPC held in Amritsar on Sunday, a resolution was passed asking Amarinder Singh to apologize for the controversial contents in the Class 12 textbooks. The meeting passed a resolution against the Punjab government in this regard.

“This is a grave sin that has been committed by distorting Sikh history. The responsibility for this lies on Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. He should apologize to the Sikh community,” SGPC President Gobind Singh Longowal told the media in Amritsar, around 250 km from here.

“There should be action taken against the expert committee which allowed such glaring distortion in Sikh history to take place and be published in textbooks. The Chairman of the expert committee (on deciding content for the textbooks), Dr Kirpal Singh, should have apologized for the wrong done but he has tried to justify the distortion. We have removed him from the Sikh history project being undertaken for the SGPC,” Longowal said.

The SGPC and other Sikh organisations and experts have objected to the distortion of Sikh hitory in the textbooks in the portrayal of Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Hargobind, Guru Tegh Bahadur and the 10th Guru, Gobind Singh.

The SGPC had earlier demanded registration of a case and arrest of the expert committee members and others connected with the publication of the textbooks.

Former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had earlier said that no Sikh could tolerate the claim as written in the new book that Guru Gobind Singh fled from Chamkaur Sahib without informing anyone and that the Mughals did not order the martyrdom of the fifth Guru, Arjan Dev, but had merely “fined” him.