The author cites his basis for comparing the two as a means of “exploring the unholy culture of the politician-god men nexus in India.” The attempt to depict Sant Jarnail Singh within this framework is bewildering.
The author correctly states it was journalist Kuldip Nayar who first alleged that Sant Jarnail Singh was well informed by the Congress to take over the Akali Dal; he fails to mention that the allegation remains completely unfounded 40 years on. This was continually bandied about by a whole array of misinformed writers and commentators that effectively churn out the erroneous rhetoric of the Indian establishment and its media outlets.
In 1977 Sant Jarnail Singh became the leader of the Damdami Taksaal (a Sikh educational institute founded during the time of Guru Gobind Singh). He was not associated with the Akali Dal until 1982 when he launched the Dharam Yudh Morcha (Civil Rights Movement) against the arrest of his companions, at which point the Akali Dal asked him to merge his endeavors with other political demands laid out in the Anandpur Sahib Resolution.
Sant Jarnail Singh was a staunch activist for change in Punjab and the wider region, with Sikh sovereignty high on his agenda. The Khalistan movement that followed his martyrdom is testament to the foundations he had built through connecting with Punjabis of all backgrounds, across the state. If one reads or listens to his speeches, which are readily available online, it is evidently clear that he advocated for the people of Punjab to rise, become initiated Sikhs, read Sikh scripture, and realize the sovereignty