It was a decade ago that the shroud of banality ‘Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insaan’ spun fell on Punjab, in particular the Sikh community. I saw it first-hand in the summer of 2007 when my mother lay dying from stage IV cancer in Mandi Dabwali, south Punjab, 40 km from Sirsa where he is the head of a Dera. Soon after Baisakhi that year, Gurmeet Singh — whose rise remains shrouded in mystery and who was already charged with rape and accused in the murder of journalist Ramchandra Chhatrapati — had imitated the tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh’s clothing and ritual Khande di Pahul while conducting the initiation for the followers of his cult, the Dera Sacha Sauda.
Punjab is sending out a signal: it is shunning violence. Do not mistake this shunning of violence as an absence of disquiet.
The Sikh faith disallows the use of the term Sacha ...