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A.I.S.S.F. to Thwart World Sikh Convention

Harminder Singh Gill (below center, in a sky blue turban) is said to be a close ally of Gurcharan Singh Tohra, president of the S.G.P.C. That makes him an opponent of both Prakash Singh Badal, president S.A.D., and Amarinder Singh, the current Congress party chief minister of Punjab. It is not difficult to conclude that if anyone is seeking "cheap publicity," it's none other than Gill. Furthermore, it is unclear why the student body has a president who looks as if his student days past him by at least a decade or two ago. Media reports indicate that Gill has been president of A.I.S.S.F. at least since July 28, 1998. Isn't that long enough to complete whatever course of study Gill is pursuing?

The Times of India, Jalandhar (Punjab, Inida), Oct. 11, 2003

The All-India Sikh Students' Federation (A.I.S.S.F.) on Friday warned the group of intellectuals from Chandigarh, alleging that they 'actually do not know the ABC of Sikhism' and declared that the Sikh sammelan they were planning to organise on October 26 was 'nothing but an attempt to get cheap publicity.' The A.I.S.S.F. would chalk out a plan to stop them from holding a 'Sarbat Khalsa' as stated. 'The Sarbat Khalsa could be called only by [the] Akal Takht. This is a mischievous plan and can end up destroying the peace that reigns in Punjab,' said A.I.S.S.F. president Harminder Singh Gill, while addressing a press conference. He named the group that was behind this move, saying they were Gurtej Singh, Joginder Singh, editor of [the] Spokesman, Rajinder Singh and others.'

'Their secret plan was to project Kala Afghana, who was ostracised from the Sikh panth recently for having made fun of the writings of Guru Gobind Singh, as a hero and thus create new myths through the media,' said Gill. 'They are trying to project Kala Afghana as a Salman Rushdie vis-a-vis Sikhism. This would not be allowed. If they don't refrain from their stated plans, the federation would meet on October 21 to decide the future course of action,' he said.

'We call the present Congress government as a 'rollback' government. They take decisions only to take them back after seeing that the protests are too strong. The vigilance probe against S.A.D. [Shiromani Akali Dal] president Parkash Singh Badal and his family is politically motivated. As far as corruption is concerned, it is still rampant in almost all government departments. The common man still cannot get work done without bribing officials,' said Gill, asking what had the common man gained from this anticorruption drive. 'The coming parliamentary elections would reflect the fate of the Congress in Punjab,' he added.