The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has condemned the violent
incident at Amritsar’s Golden Temple, on December 18. They have urged that
perpetrators must face appropriate action.

A man was accused of alleged sacrilege,
when he jumped over a railing into the temple, during the evening prayers and gained
access to the reserved area, where he proceeded to pick up the sword placed in
front of the Guru Granth Sahib. This is when the crowd overpowered him, took him
outside, and lynched him.

The man’s death has drawn responses
from many quarters condemning the extreme action. Home Minister Amit Shah has
assuredly offered his support and proper investigation into the incident.

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While the BJP led government and RSS
have wished for the perpetrators to face consequences, they themselves have
perpetrated disrespect and even violence towards the Golden Temple in the past.
Back in 1981, there was a fracas in Amritsar, since Sikh organizations wanted
the sale of tobacco products to be banned in their holy city. Meanwhile,
Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS), the predecessor of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), backed organizations that advocated opening stores to
sell tobacco products, cigarettes, and other smoking cornucopia, closer to the
Golden Temple.

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The RSS and BJP were also at the
forefront of groups lobbying the Congress government in 1984, for military
action to be directed towards the Golden Temple. A few weeks before the
infamous Operation Bluestar, Lal Krishna Advani, the first BJS president, and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, BJP’s
founder and president, demanded armed forces should be sent into the Golden Temple.
In Advani’s autobiography, titled ‘My Country My Life’, published in
2008, he stated BJP agitation to be a major influence on Indira Gandhi’s
decision towards military action. Further, Nanaji Deshmukh, a BJS leader from
UP published an essay blaming the 1984 Sikh genocides on the Sikhs themselves.
Cut to 2019, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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the incident at the Golden Temple has sparked some discussion, there has been
another case where a man was beaten to death in Punjab’s Kapurthala district, for
disrespecting the Sikh flag inside a gurudwara.