The conflict between Sikhs and Nirankari sect caused much of bloodbath for what was termed by Sikh radicals as anti-Sikh preaching by latter. When talks were initiated to resolve the matter by compromise, Congress backtracked.
In December 1981, the new chief of Nirankaris, Baba Hardev wanted to make a deal with the Sikhs. It was agreed that Nirankaris would delete the offending passages in their holy books in exchange for peace. But Chief Minister Darbara Singh stepped in and wrecked the deal. Congress was never interested in tranquillity and sanity in Punjab.
Bone of contention
There was rising unrest among the Sikhs caused by Nirankari sect head, Baba Gurbachan Singh and his followers ‘derogation’ of Sikhism, its holy scriptures, its founder Gurus, and conventions and practices held by all Sikhs in profound reverence. To a substantial extent, the “Nirankari Church’s scriptural mainstay has been the Guru Granth Sahib. But the interpretation of the verses in the Guru Granth has been distorted to suit Nirankari propaganda.
On April 13, 1978 on the auspicious day of Baisakhi a tragedy broke out with both the conflicting groups rising up in arms against each other in which 12 people lost their lives.
Political ramification of Congress
This situation presented Sanjay Gandhi and Jail Singh with a potential political disaster. The Congress Party began to whip up anti-Sant Nirankari sentiments amongst the Sikhs via their Congress-controlled Sikh temples in Delhi.
Not wishing to alienate their coalition partners, the S.G.P.C. Akali Dal tried to play down the Sant Nirankari incident in Punjab. The Congress-held Gurdwaras in Delhi promoted Bhindrawale as a hero of the Sant Nirankari incident.
Peace talks, proved futile
Akali Dal wanted that vicious battle to put to an end and peace talks were initiated with sect head. It must be noted here that in the year 1981, the newly appointed chief of Nirankaris, Baba Hardev agreed that Nirankaris would delete the objectionable passages in their holy books in lieu of restoring peace but ruling congress government led by Darbara Singh retracted leaving peace talks in limbo and conflict between two communities continue till date.