Former President, Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC), Paramjit Singh Sarna had received a crushing defeat in last elections and this time around, he is expected to repeat the history. His tenure as a President was marred with corruption and fraudulent activities and he particularly drew flak for indulging in anti-Sikh activities.
Gauging the public sentiment, Sarna has no chances of sailing through in the forthcoming Gurudwara elections. Several opinion polls have further accentuated the public mood. Realizing the slipping ground beneath his foot, Sarna has started to violence as a desperate attempt to stay afloat.
Sarna’s goons allegedly created ruckus at Punjabi Bagh Gurudwara and tried to sabotage the religious ceremony being organized by his opponent from the constituency, Manjinder Singh Sirsa.
The Sarna group tried to intimidate supporters of his archrival, Manjinder Singh Sirsa. His goons, tried to instigate and threaten the locals to cancel the programme.
Displaying sheer desperation, Sarna is playing dirty politics to avoid defeat and is hatching conspiracies to cancel the Gurudwara polls by instigating violence.
Under no circumstances can Sikh radicals stay away from gurdwara politics. A number of Sikh radicals, who once vehemently participated in Khalistan movement, are now camping in Delhi ahead of forthcoming Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections supporting their favourite candidates.
Wassan Singh Zafarwal, a former chief of Khalistan Commando Force is campaigning for all the candidates fielded by former DSGMC, President Paramjit Singh Sarna. It is noteworthy that Zafarwal is persuading all Sikh families to vote for Sarna’s candidates.
Zafarwal is not the lone Sikh radical to support Sarna group. Mokham Singh, another Sikh extremist, is also supporting the candidature of Sarna.
Radical support can pose serious threat considering Punjab’s turbulent past. But, Sarna doesn’t even blink an eyelid before siding with radicals. In an interview to a leading daily, Sarna stated that radical leaders’ presence will improve his poll prospects.
“In the last (DSGMC) elections in 2013, I made the mistake of not taking their support, and lost. I don’t want to take any chance this time,” said Sarna.
As a president of Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC), Paramjit Singh Sarna had made news for all the wrong reasons. His tenure was marred with corruption charges and misgovernance of all the committee run institutes.
Backstabbing entire Sikh community, Sarna on February 10, 2005, passed ownership of Master Tara Singh car parking at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib to New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC). It is noteworthy that NDMC was ruled by Congress at that time and Sarna’s closeness with grand old party of India is an open secret.
Parking lot along Gurdwara Bangla Sahib was attached to the Gurdwara in 1970 with the efforts of Jathedar Santokh Singh and it was decided to convert it into parking lot for the convenience of pilgrims. A road that existed on the location was closed down to give way to the parking.
It is pertinent to note that on January 25, 2001 NDMC chairman BP Mishra and on July 25, 2002 then Lt. Governor of New Delhi Vijay Kapoor, had assured then president of SAD-Delhi Avtar Singh Hit that the building plan of the parking submitted would be cleared.
Now crucial questions arises here – what was the need to handover the hand over the parking lot to NDMC and that too after 25 years of its allotment.
Former President, Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC), Paramjit Singh Sarna’s tenure was an exhibit of misgovernance, corruption and fraudulent activities. He has trail of deceitful activities with sole aim of amassing huge amount. Backstabbing entire community, Sarna sold off the hospital meant to treat poor patients into private hands.
Sarna during his tenure as President drew public ire for seizing Rs. 80 crore by giving Guru Harkishan Singh Hospital (adjacent to Gurudwara Bala Sahib) a property of DSGMC into private hands. Sarna created a family trust through which all such illegal dealings were conducted.
As per news report, Sarna tried to hand over the hospital to private companies twice and in the bargain received Rs 62 crore as bribe and Rs. 17.75 crore as upfront money from these two companies.
On May 3, 2007, Sarna had entered into a lease agreement with Manipal Health System for a period of 30 years with lease amount of Rs. 311 crore. A sum of rs 5 crore was taken by way of a cheque and it was melted to receive Rs. 20 crore in cash out of which Rs. 7 crore was received immediately by Sarna. When the Manipal Health System failed to give remaining cash amount of Rs. 13 crore they cancelled the agreement in 2012.
Later, a deal was struck with Radiant Life care which runs BL Kapoor hospital. After that a beneficiary company named SKA Estates Pvt. Ltd. Was formed with Sarna and his wife as directors.
Former Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC), Paramjit Singh Sarna was attacked by an angry youth when a ‘Kirtan Darbar’ was underway in 2011. Caught unaware, Sarna fell off his chair and as a result his turban also came off.
It is noteworthy that the Harvinder Singh, who attacked Sarna, had earlier slapped former union minister Sharad Pawar for his anti-Sikh remark. This incident happened at Rohini area of New Delhi where a ‘Kirtan Darbar’ was being organised by Manjit Singh Sachdeva, a fromer member of DSGMC.
Immediately after the incident, supporters of Sarna overpowered the assailant, Harvinder Singh who was given severe thrashing. He received serious injuries before being handed over to Delhi Police.
While Harvinder’s action was condemnable, it was unjust on part of Sarna’s supporters to thrash him badly before handing over to Police. Even police didn’t take any action those, who manhandled and injured him badly.
Sikhism preaches tolerance and youth shouldn’t have attacked Sarna. But this act of violence showed sheer frustration on part of Sikh youth and a testimony to the fact that how people were fed up with anti-Sikh activities of Sarna brothers.
Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) faced severe financial irregularities during the tenure of former President Paramjit Singh Sarna. Being in power and being close to then ruling Congress government and Sarna and his younger brother Harvinder Singh Sarna amasses huge amount indulging in several fraudulent activities.
Sarna’s tenure witnessed utter mismanagement of various institutions owned by DSGMC. Several incidents came to fore where Sarna brothers conspired to take advantage of various institutions being run by DSGMC. They invited public ire for selling off the land belonging to Guru Harkrishan Sahib hospital. In addition, sold the hospital management contract to a privatized company eyeing personal benefit.
Financial irregularities had become a norm at DSGMC under the aegis of Sarna. Backstabbing entire Sikh community, Sarna executed many fraudulent activities for his vested interests. He was involved in selling a hospital being constructed at a Gurudwara to a private party for an undisclosed amount.
Construction work of a hospital at Bala Sahib Gurudwara was handed over to a private against the rules. A criminal case was later lodged against him in 2012 by Delhi Police on the directive of Delhi High Court.
Strong foundation is paramount for building a resilient structure. Likewise inculcating religious values from a young age goes a long way towards a rightful society infused with sacred philosophy. Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Manegment Committee (DSGMC) took right steps with an aim to connect young impressionable minds with Sikh values.
DSGMC started ‘Amritdhari’ (baptised) scheme with an aim to encourage young children to partake in religious activities. As per the scheme, school fee of ‘Amritdhari’ kids studying in DSGMC run institutes was waived off completely. Score of 50% and above was the only criteria for ‘Amritdhari’ kids to be eligible for this scheme.
Besides, DSGMC is running various scholarship schemes to support students in pursuing higher studies. Special emphasis is given to ensure that ‘Amritdhari’ students participate in various extra curricular activities. Special arrangements are made to provide free training various sports besides Sikh martial arts- ‘Gatka’.
One of the biggest steps in this direction, was the inclusion of Sikh history in the schools being run by DSGMC.
The movement started by DSGMC to spread the Sikh legacy is bearing fruits with younger generation developing interest in Sikh values in a big way.