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Hindustan Times EXCLUSIVE - DJJS chief: Ready for dialogue, even at Akal Takht

Expressing readiness for an "open-minded dialogue" with the Sikh clergy, controversial head of the Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS) Ashutosh Maharaj on Monday said he had no reservations on a meeting even at Akal Takht for an early end to the conflict in the interest of peace and stability in Punjab.

The dera head -- who is the eye of a fresh controversy following the violent clash between police and Sikh hardliners opposed to his sect on Saturday, which claimed one life -- said he was in favour of "neutralising" the hostility through open dialogue.

"From my side, there were never any differences. Still, if they have any, and the Sikh clergy agree for an open dialogue, I have no objections, and, as always, we are ready for reconciliation," Ashutosh Maharaj told Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview.

He said in 2002, he was "invited" for a clarification at Akal Takht, but was later disallowed on the plea that Hindus could not enter the temporal seat.
"Now it is for them to take a firm stand," he said.

The dera chief said he had made an attempt to resolve the issue in the past too, and submitted his institutional operations as well as literature to scrutiny by Akal Takht and Sikh scholars, but all efforts proved "futile" and "one-sided".

"We had sent our entire literature to Akal Takht with the undertaking that that if anything wrong or factual mistakes were found, we would make corrections or even stop the publication. But, they could not find a single mistake, and, moreover, never responded despite several reminders," he claimed.
"Not responding in a dialogue and being adamant on opposing DJJS was in itself objectionable and wrong on their part," he added.

Besides, he claimed, a threemember commission formed by then chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had exam
"clean chit" after finding everything in accordance with the preaching of Guru Granth Sahib.

Asked if it was appropriate to visit Ludhiana despite warnings and opposition from Sikh radical groups, Ashutosh Maharaj said: "Constitutionally, it was right as DJJS had obtained all requisite permissions, sanctions and NOCs."

Yet, he added, DJJS never wanted to disturb the peace, and voluntarily cancelled the planned "shobha yatra" and the second day's programme.

"We operated within legal and moral codes of conduct and rule of the land. On the contrary, the warnings, behaviour and acts of radical groups were wrong, irrelevant, illegal and against the Constitution," he asserted.

Where does the solution lie to the conflicts between DJJS and Sikhs?
He said the sansthan was in conflict with "extremists", not Sikhs. "It is between us and the extremists who are working for the creation of `Khalistan'. I repeat, it is not Sikhs but fanatics who oppose us. Please do not defame the Sikhs for malicious acts of such extremists," he said.

Rejecting the allegations of being "disrespectful" to Sikh gurus and scriptures, Ashutosh Maharaj said had his discourses been against the gurus or the holy book, no Sikh would have associated with DJJS.

"But we have lakhs of Sikh followers... they are not insane.
There were lakhs of such Sikhs present at the congregation in Ludhiana on Saturday. Do you think they were there to listen to the condemnation of Guru Granth Sahib, as falsely propagated by radicals?" He said even during the Ludhiana congregation the radicals were invited for a faceto-face discussion, but they did not turn up. Would he want to hold more congregations in Punjab? The dera head has a counter-question, "When millions of youth have joined the mainstream of developmental activities and come out of the drug trap through activities and efforts of DJJS, then why should I stop doing the good work because of some unjustified threats and warnings?" `I abide by Guru Granth Sahib' Asked to respond to the allegation that he has described "living gurus" as superior to Guru Granth Sahib, Ashutosh Maharaj said it was an "utterly fallacious" statement attributed to him. "I respect and abide by Guru Granth Sahib. It is an ocean of knowledge and to understand it, we all need to dive deep into it, and should live our life by its values," he told HT.

On the other charge that he has sought to treat Sikhs as part of Hindus, the DJJS head said: "What I said was that the ancestors of Guru Sahibans and Sikhs were Hindus. In fact, Jathedar Puran Singh Ji had also agreed with this and mentioned in one of his articles that members of Bedi and Sodhi castes of Sikhs were descendents of Luv and Kush, the sons of Lord Ram.
This fact is also mentioned in Vichitra Natak of Dasam Granth".


The different forms of Anger and how to control that!!!

Many of us will do anything to avoid anther's anger, yet may be quick to anger ourselves. Many of us dread anther's anger, yet continue to use our own anger as a way to control others. Let's take a deeper look at what generates our anger and how we can learn from it rather than be at the mercy of it.

The feeling 'anger' can come from two different places within us. Anger that comes from an adult, rational place can be called outrage. 'Outrage' is the feeling we have when confronted with injustice. Outrage mobilizes us to take appropriate action when harm is being done to ourselves, others, and the planet. Outrage is a positive emotion in that it moves us to action - to stop crime and violence, clean up the environment, and so on. Outrage comes from a principled place within, a place of integrity, caring and compassion.

Anger can also come from a fearful adolescent place within - from the part of us that fears being wrong, rejected, abandoned, or controlled by others, and feels intensely frustrated in the face of these feelings. This part of us fears failure, embarrassment, humiliation, disrespect, and helplessness over others and outcomes. When these fearful feelings are activated, this adolescent part, not wanting to feel helpless, may move into attacking or blaming anger as a way to attempt to control a person or a situation. 'Blaming Anger' is always indicative of some way we are not taking care of ourselves, not taking responsibility for our own feelings and needs. Instead of taking care of ourselves, we blame another for our feelings in an attempt to intimidate another to change so that we will feel safe.

Blaming anger creates many problems in relationships. No one likes to be blamed for anther's feelings. No one wants to be intimidated into taking responsibility for anther's needs. Blaming anger may generate blaming anger or resistance in the other person, which results in a power struggle. Or, the person at the other end of blaming anger may give in, doing what the angry person wants, but there is always a consequence in the relationship. The compliant person may learn to dislike and fear the angry person and find ways to passively resist or to disengage from the relationship.

When blaming anger comes up, the healthy option is neither to dump it on another in an attempt to control them, nor to squash and repress it. The healthy option is to learn from it. Our anger at another person or situation has much to teach us regarding personal responsibility for our own feelings and needs. As part of the inner bonding process that is shared here offer a three-part anger process that moves you out of feeling like a frustrated victim and into a sense of personal power.

The 'Anger Process' is a powerful way to release anger, as well as to learn from the source of the anger. Releasing your anger will work only when your intent in releasing it is to learn about what you are doing that is causing your angry feelings.

If you just want to use your anger to blame, control and justify your position, you will stay stuck in your anger. This three-part anger process moves you out of the victim-mode and into open-heartedness.

1. Imagine that the person you are angry at is sitting in front of you. Let your angry wounded child or adolescent self yell at him or her, saying in detail everything you wish you could actually say. Unleash your anger, pain and resentment until you have nothing more to say. You can scream and cry, pound a pillow, roll up a towel and beat the bed. (The reason you don't tell the person directly is because this kind of cathartic, no-holds-barred "anger dump" would be abusive to them.)

2. Now ask yourself who this person reminds you of in your past - your mother or father, a grandparent, a sibling? (It may be the same person. That is, you may be mad at your father now, and he is acting just like he did when you were little.) Now let your wounded self yell at the person from the past as thoroughly and energetically as in part one.

3. Finally, come back into the present and let your angry wounded self do the same thing with you expressing your anger, pain and resentment toward your adult self for your part in the situation or for treating yourself the way the people in parts one and two treated you. This brings the problem home to personal responsibility, opening the door to exploring your own behavior.

By doing the anger process instead of trying to control others with your anger, you de-escalate your frustration while learning about the real issue - how you are not taking care of yourself in the face of whatever another is doing or in the face of a difficult situation. Whenever anger comes up, you always have the choice to control or to learn.

Happy Learning !!!