Balbir Singh joining with his allies the SGPC to ban Nihang Singh practices

When the Akalis and SGPC used to overstep the mark the Buddha Dal would excommunicate them, as there were four Takht Sahibs, and the Buddha Dal was the Fifth. To bring power into their own hands the Akalis broke the tradition of the Guru\’s house and made Dam Dama Sahib the Fifth Takht. This meant three Takhts under SGPC control and would be in Punjab. Laughingly in 2001, the SGPC put pressure on the Nihang Singh\’s leader Baba Santa Singh on the pretext of Shahidi Degh, a herbal almond protein drink which has a small amount of cannabis in it. The SGPC promoted leader Baba Balbir Singh agreed to stop all Nihang Singh taking Shaheedi Degh. However, references to this practice can be found within the Dasam Granth Sahib. See the Indian Hemp Report 1894 below, that quote the Hikayats which are the close of the Dasam Granth Sahib.

 

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2001/20010310/main7.htm#2

 No ‘bhang’ at Hola Mohalla\r\nTribune News Service

Anandpur Sahib, March 9, 2001\r\nMembers of the Budha Dal today discarded their mortars and pestles and decided to participate in the Hola Mohalla, the nagar procession, without taking “bhang”, here tomorrow.

The reason — they have voluntarily joined the year-long anti-addiction drive initiated by the Singh Sahiban. And when an anti-addiction awareness march was organised here today at the instance of the Jathedar of Kesgarh Sahib, Prof Manjit Singh, the Budha Dal chief, Bhai Balbir Singh, was the main flag-bearer carrying a message that “bhang” was detrimental to both intellect and health of a person.

Talking to The Tribune, The Akal Jathedar Bhai Joginder Singh Vedanti, and Jathedar Takht Kesgarh Sahib, Prof Manjit Singh, said it was for the first time that all Nihang Sikhs participating in the Hola Mohalla celebrations had decided to keep the holy city free from their mortars and pestles so as not to take any “bhang” or “sukha” preparations.

In the awareness march, besides the Budha Dal representatives, others represented were Akal Purakh ki Fauj, Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, Sahibzada Jhujjar Singh Mission College, Sikh Missionary College (Anandpur Sahib), Azad Kala Manch (Patiala), Anandpur Sahib Public School, Sikh Nari Manch, Isri Sat Sang Sabha, Sukhmani Sahib Sewa Society and Narcotics Anonymous besides others.

The processionists were carrying placards to educate people against drugs .

Prof Manjit Singh and Jathedar Vedanti said the next phase of their anti-addiction awareness campaign would be at Damdama Sahib during “Baisakhi” celebrations. “We started it by organising a quiz for students. During the Hola Mohalla celebrations, a number of youngsters had turned up at the de-addiction counselling centre as they wanted to give up drugs,” they said.

“We have received requests from Delhi and other places to organise quiz contests on anti-addiction. The problem of drugs was not confined to Sikhs alone but it was affecting all, irrespective of religion or area and was becoming a major problem. We have to take our campaign to temples, mosques, gurdwaras, educational institutions, to parents, to teachers and others to seek their indulgence and cooperation to save our young generation”, they said.

In the first phase, we want to free our holy cities from the menace of drugs. After Anandpur Sahib and Damdama Sahib, it will be the turn of Amritsar and Fatehgarh Sahib at next Jor Melas. We will also take it to Chappar Mela and other big fairs so that message is given to all concerned, Prof Manjit Singh said.

Nihangs ‘not to accept’ ban on bhang\r\nTribune News Service

Talwandi Sabo, March 25, 2001

The campaign against drug addiction launched by the apex Sikh clergy from the Takht Shri Keshgarh Sahib on the occasion of Hola Mohalla, today received a major set-back when Baba Santa Singh, Jathedar, Budha Dal, along with 20 chiefs of Nihang sects refused to accept the ban on consumption of ‘bhang’ (cannabis).

Baba Santa Singh pointed out that the consumption of ‘bhang’among the Nihangs was not a new phenomenon. He said it had been going on ever since the Nihangs came into existence and fought battles against Mughal and Afghan invaders.

He further pointed out that Nihangs were having their own customs, traditions, conventions and attire and no-body would be allowed to force them to change the same.

It may be mentioned here that on the occasion of Hola Mohalla, a procession was taken out and the followers of Baba Balbir Singh, who was installed as Jathedar of the Budha Dal after Baba Santa Singh was excommunicated, decided to shun the consumption of bhang in presence of the Jathedar, Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, and the Jathedar, Takht Keshgarh Sahib and Jathedar of the Takht Damdama Sahib, Giani Kewal Singh.

INDIAN HEMP DRUGS COMMISSION REPORT

“Among the Sikhs the use of bhang as a beverage appears to be common, and to be associated with their religious practices. The witnesses who refer to this use by the Sikhs appear to regard it as an essential part of their religious rites having the authority of the Granth or Sikh scripture. Witness Sodhi Iswar Singh, Extra Assistant Commissioner, says: “As far as I know, bhang is pounded by the Sikhs on the Dasehra day, and it is ordinarily binding upon every Sikh to drink it as a sacred draught by mixing water with it.” Legend–Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru, the founder of the Sikh religion, was on the gaddi of Baba Nanak in the time of Emperor Aurangzeb. When the guru was at Anandpur, tahsil Una, Hoshiarpur district, engaged in battle with the Hill Rajas of the Simla, Kangra, and the Hoshiarpur districts, the Rains sent an elephant, who was trained in attacking and slaying the forces of the enemy with a sword in his trunk and in breaking open the gates of forts, to attack and capture the Lohgarh fort near Anandpur. The guru gave one of his followers, Bachittar Singh, some bhang and a little of opium to eat, and directed him to face the said elephant. This brave man obeyed the word of command of his leader and attacked the elephant, who was intoxicated and had achieved victories in several battles before, with the result that the animal was overpowered and the Hill Rajas defeated. The use of bhang, therefore, on the Dasehra day is necessary as a sacred draught. It is customary among the Sikhs generally to drink bhang, so that Guru Gobind Singh has himself said the following poems in praise of bhang: “Give me, O Saki (butler), a cup of green colour (bhang), as it is required by me at the time of battle (vide ‘Suraj Parkash,’ the Sikh religious book).” Bhang is also used on the Chandas day, which is a festival of the god Sheoji Mahadeva. The Sikhs consider it binding to use it on the Dasehra day-The quantity then taken is too small to prove injurious.\” As Sikhs are absolutely prohibited by their religion from smoking, the use of ganja and charas in this form is not practised by them. Of old Sikh times, is annually permitted to collect without interference a boat load of bhang, which is afterwards distributed throughout the year to the sadhus and beggars who are supported by the dharamsala.” (IHDCR, 1894)

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