The Akal Takht Jathedars were all Nihang Singhs, the British needed to leave behind a passive race of people, and one they could control. Therefore, they made sure the committees in power were loyal to them. The committees did the dirty work for the British and removed the Nihang Singhs from the Akal Takht Sahib, a seva they had been doing from the times of Guru Gobind Singh, and even further back to the Sixth Guru.
It is because of its position of authority the term Shiromani (highest of all) is applied to the Budha Dal. In recent times this term has been widely associated with the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandak Commmitte (SGPC) who were entrusted during the 1920s, during British rule in Punjab, to manage the responsibilities of various Gurdware. In their comparatively short history they have taken many efforts to remove the influence of Budha Dal and its historical legacy from the mainstream of Sikh religion. For decades they have been enlisting the help of courts to try and secure land, property and religious. Since their creation they have sought to bring Budha Dal under its wing by attempting to set up a parallel Budha Dal.</p>\r\n<b><i>‘At the time Jathedar Baba Sahib Singh [Last Nihang Singh Jathedar of the Akal Takht Sahib] was appointed the eleventh Jatehdar of the Budha Dal by the Panth, SGPC was just a newly formed organisation. They proclaimed Baba Ram Singh to be Jathedar of Budha Dal and they set up their own new organisation. But how can anyone challenge Budha Dal? They failed because this is the Guru’s Panth. During Baba Chet Singh\’s reign and while Baba Santa Singh was Jathedar they made several attempts appoint fake Jathedars of Budha Dal. During Baba Santa Singh\’s time they tried to set up man made parallel Budha Dals such as that of Amrik Singh. Again, they have played this trick by claiming to appoint Balbir Singh as Jathedar and are trying to hijack Budha Dal. They are our children, they have no say in who our leader is. The Panth stands behind Baba Joginder Singh and Baba Surjeet Singh. Like every other attempt the SGPC has made, this deception of theirs won’t last long.’ (Baba Ranja Singh, Audio recording, August 2007)
You may think this is the biased view of the Nihang Singhs, here is the historian of the SGPC saying the same, that they actively sought to take over all Nihang Singh places of worship: An attempt was made by the counsel for defence to prove that as AkaliPhula Singh was a Nihang, the trust was of a private nature, concerning the Nihang Sikhs alone, and that Sikhs of the Singh Sabha persuasion could have no interest themselves and absolutely no status to interfere in the management. But the evidence of the Four Takhts, or the highest places of Sikh authority, and the opinions of some eminent Nihangs and other Sikhs were accepted by the Judge as supporting the Contention of the plaintiffs that the place, with the property, was a public religious trust and that the Singh Sabha people had full interest in it. The case was decided on 18th July, 1918. The Mahant was removed on account of his ” mismanagement and frailty of character” and was further called upon to render an account of the income and expenditure of the shrine for the past ten years. Teja Singh – The Gurdwara Reform Movement – 1922 CHAPTER XXII. THE AKALIS. The term ‘ Akali’, meaning immortal, has been used, ever since the days of Guru Gobind Singh, for those Sikhs who dedicate themselves to the protection of temples and the preservation of pure ceremonial in them. They are no sect, for they do not differ from other Sikhs in any respect about doctrines. When the reform of temples began in the twentieth century, a new order of Akalis arose, which was quite distinct from the old order.
The Budha Dal split. What is the truth?
One of the recent events which has set a new precedent for betrayal in the panth is the split between the Budha Dal. The very same Budha Dal which destroyed any enemy which stood up to it today faces danger from those individuals, who call themselves “jathedars of the panth.” The SGPC, Akali Dal and many other jathebandis have betrayed their duties in choosing a common thug for jathedari of Budha Dal. But this is nothing new for these institutes, they are the very same individuals who stood by and watched the destruction of Darbar Sahib in the 80’s and the mass genocide of Sikhs launched by an ungrateful nation which could not even save it’s own daughters; or take revenge for their ravishment!
These individuals have come up with a new scheme, to replace the rightful heirs of Sikh upsampradas with their own men. Puppets who will obey their each and every command, which in turn will come from New-Delhi. Already Chowk-Mehta and countless other institutes have been lost to such pakhandis. Budha Dal is just one of the many casulties in this shadow-war. Today it has not one, not two but three jathedars. How did this situation come about? One may wonder. The answer lies two ways. One way is the history of the Dal. Stretching from the time of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, only that individual has been chosen for jathedar who sticks true to the purataan traditions of the Khalsa. Two, we have the Khalistan movement which exposed the real face of the Akali Dal and other Sikh polities. Those who stick true to the purataan maryada will often be targeted by the “jathedars” and “panth rattans” via orders from their masters in New-Delhi.
The true head of the Budha Dal is Akali Baba Surjeet Singh Ji 96 crori. The official choice of Baba Santa Singh Nihung (who gained notoriety and has become a figure of controversy in the panth since ’84) since 2005, for his successor was Baba Surjeet Singh Ji. However after the demise of Baba Santa Singh competition to his choice came in the form of his nephew Dalbir Singh. For those who have followed the recent history of Budha Dal, Dalbir Singh is no stranger. He was once before excommunicated from the Dal due to his anti-nihung activities. After repeated apologies and acts of penance he was allowed back in. Thus it is no surprise that this stigmatised individual was chosen for position of Budha Dal jathedar by the Akalis and SGPC.
On the other hand we have Baba Surjeet Singh Ji a thorough Gurmukh who lies in jail, with a murder case penned on him. So far witness statements and evidence proving him to be innocent of man slaughter has been ignored by the law. Is this due to government interference? Who knows, not the first time that New-Delhi has interfered in the matters of the Khalsa panth.
On the day of Baisakhi, 2005 Baba Santa Singh announced the next jathedar of Budha Dal. Baba Surjeet Singh Ji. One of the reasons for this early announcement was Dalbir Singh’s formation of a separate “Budha Dal.” Such an act had not been done since the corrupt Nirmalas had tried forming a “Nirmala Budha Dal” during the British Raaj.
Below is a link to a newspaper article when the aforementioned event occurred.
In 2006 Dalbir Singh was once more allowed entry into the Budha Dal. As a result he withdrew all the cases he had filed against Baba Santa Singh Ji who he alleged was his “godfather.” This re-entry also saw the re-mergence of the Dal which had split in two in 1996. The reaction of the SGPC and the Akalis at this stage is not known especially since they supported Dalbir Singh as the “jathedar of Budha Dal.”
But this is not the first time the Budha Dal has been targeted by the Akali Dal and the SGPC.
Hence this cycle of betrayal is nothing new. It has already played out many times before. In 2007 tensions once more came to the fore and a new clash erupted between the Budha Dal. Again the basis of the clash was over jathedari and again Dalbir Singh was the root of the problem. From the time he had been allowed to rejoin the Dal, he had started acting as Baba Santa Singh’s confidant and assistant. This allowed him the opportunity to exploit Baba Ji’s severely poor mental and physical health condition for his own ends. He forcefully had Baba Ji place his thumb print on documents making the jathedari and property of Budha Dal towards him (Dalbir Singh). In April Dalbir Singh finally felt confidant enough to lift the curtains to his dramatic act and publicly made the claim that Baba Surjeet Singh had fired bullets at him. The incident, as Dalbir Singh narrated to the police, happened at a festival in the midst of thousands of celebrants. A majority of whom testified that it was one of his (Dalbir Singh’s men) who shot at him. He then went on to state that Baba Surjeet Singh and fifty of his men had charged him, while firing their guns at him. He, on the other hand managed to dodge the bullets. Surprisingly this incredulous claim was believed by the police in spite of having evidence that Baba Surjeet Singh had remained seated at an incredibly distant location from Dalbir Singh, during the duration of the above mentioned incident and had not moved even once.
When asked as to why Baba Surjeet Singh, who had a clean and exemplary record, would attempt such an action, Dalbir Singh gave the explanation that Baba Surjeet Singh was angered over he (Dalbir) being announced as the rightful jathedar of Budha Dal. Another false claim. But this was not the end of the situation at all. Many of Baba Surjeet Singh Ji’s supporters who were at their homes were also lifted and put in jails, arrests which all smacked of state interference. This not only exposed Dalbir Singh but also his inability to be jathedar. All historic gurudwaras managed by the Budha Dal were placed under his control by the SGPC, and in an exemplary mimic of the pre-Singh Sabha era Dalbir appointed mahants (drawn from Hindu temples) to manage these gurudwaras. This of course was an open invitation to Hindu extremists to do beadbi of Guru Granth Sahib. An invitation which they readily accepted and without any qualms.
At the time it was a proven fact that Baba Santa Singh was barely in control of his own senses. How then could the Akalis and SGPC support Dalbir Singh’s bid for jathedari is still unclear. This of course begs a few questions.
1.) Is there any official documentation in Baba Santa Singh’s hand, written when he was of a sane and sound state of mind, identifying Dalbir Singh as the next jathedar of Budha Dal?
2.) What reason did Baba Santa Singh have to revoke Baba Surjeet Singh’s claim to jathedari?
3.) Why did the law not consider Baba Santa Singh’s condition and Dalbir Singh’s actions as a result?
As a result of Baba Santa Singh’s arrest, Damdami Taksal, Tarna Dal and it’s sub-five dals including many other jathebandis split from Dalbir Singh. They themselves requested the courts to release Baba Surjeet Singh, but unfortunately the law does not listen to Sikhs. Meanwhile the real image of Dalbir Singh was slowly coming out by this time, he was following in the same footsteps as the notorious Ajit Poohla. The state’s bid in placing Poohla as head of Baba Bakala Dal had failed. But it succeeded with Dalbir.
In October 2007, after a bloody clash in which four of Dalbir Singh’s men had been killed in an act of self-defense, the SGPC and the Akalis along with Niddar Nang (the so called shastarvidya master) and many other traitors held a dastaar-baandi for Dalbir Singh; and announced him to be the fourteenth jathedar of Budha Dal. At this time Baba Santa Singh was in Dalbir Singh’s custody. The same Baba Santa Singh who for all his life had opposed the SGPC, was now forced to place a siroopa on Dalbir in the presence of the very same SGPC. It was noted at the time that he (Baba Ji) was in a semi-conscious state, was not aware of his senses and surroundings and had to be brought out in a wheel chair. Baba Surjeet Singh (two weeks before) had come to see his jathedar, but Dalbir and his mob had bolted Baba Ji in a room and lied to Baba Surjeet Singh Ji that he was in no condition to see anyone. When Baba Surjeet Singh insisted, Dalbir and his mob reacted violently and as a result four of Dalbir’s men including his father were killed.
In January 2008 Dalbir Singh was attacked, and this time literally. Of course the blame was placed straight away on Baba Surjeet Singh, despite the fact no evidence pointed towards the latter. This was nothing more than a repeat of an attack, Dalbir Singh alleged, in which he was targeted two years back and four members of his jatha were killed. Meanwhile the same month, Baba Santa Singh was hospitalised. His health had severly deteriorated and at the time he was suffering from a 103 degrees fever. The take over of the Budha Dal was now nearly complete. Finally in May 2008 Baba Ji left his mortal frame.
While in jail Baba Surjeet Singh chose Baba Joginder Singh Ji to be acting jathedar of Budha Dal. Hence after the demise of Baba Santa Singh Ji Baba Joginder Singh Ji called a meeting of the panchyat which Baba Santa Singh had set up, for the purpose of looking after the day to day affairs of Budha Dal due to his inability at his age. This panchyat foregoing Dalbir’s false claims announced Baba Surinder Singh Babbar, a nephew of Baba Santa Singh, as his legal heir. But this did not stop Dalbir. He now unleashed his nangs on the various gurudwaras which the Budha Dal administered and tried taking them over. Once more both factions locked horns over who was right and who was wrong. It was now upto Baba Joginder Singh Ji to lead the Budha Dal to peace.
The need for the panth at the moment, is to come together and support Baba Surjeet Singh Ji and not a common gangster. It is only then that it can progress in it’s plans. The second requirement is to dissolve the Akali Dal and the SGPC who have continually looted the panth since their inception.