Harish Rawat apologizes for 'Panj Pyare' remark
AICC General Secretary Harish Rawat on Wednesday apologized for referring to the party's Punjab leadership as Panj Pyare and will atone for his remark by sweeping the floor at a gurdwara. Rawat had used the word Panj Pyare for the Punjab Congress chief and four working presidents after a meeting at the Punjab Congress Bhawan.
'Panj Pyare' is the name given to five baptized Sikhs
Rawat had arrived in Chandigarh on Tuesday amid the ongoing rift in the party's state unit. In Sikh tradition, Panj Pyare is the term used for five beloveds of the Guru. In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh, the last of the ten Gurus, initiated five men into the order of Khalsa (pure). Panj Pyare is the name given to five baptized Sikhs.
On Wednesday, Rawat acknowledged his mistake
The name is given to five baptized Sikhs who perform a baptism ceremony to initiate Sikhs into the order of the Khalsa. On his Facebook page on Wednesday, Rawat acknowledged his mistake for his Panj Pyare remark. "Sometimes by expressing respect, you use such words which are objectionable," the AICC general secretary wrote on Facebook.
Rawat apologized for hurting the sentiments of people
"I too have made a mistake of using the word Panj Pyare for my honorable President and four working presidents," wrote Rawat. He said he was a student of the country's history and the leading position of Panj Pyare could not be compared with any other. "I have committed a mistake. I apologize for hurting the sentiments of people," he said.
I have always respected the Sikh religion: Rawat
Rawat, who is the party's Punjab affairs in-charge, said he will clean a gurdwara in his state with a broom as atonement. He said that he always had a sense of dedication and respect for the Sikh religion and its great traditions. The Shiromani Akali Dal had taken exception to Rawat's remarks and had sought an apology for the same.
SAD leader Daljit Singh Cheema slammed Rawat for his remark
SAD leader Daljit Singh Cheema had slammed the AICC general secretary for his remark and had demanded that the state government should book him for hurting the sentiments of people.