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Press Note - On Current Sikh Situation in Punjab

Chandigarh, Oct. 28, 2015. The events of the recent past have established that the Panth reigns supreme, and none would be permitted to play with the principles, traditions of Sikhi. To place the current crisis in perspective, it needs to be kept in mind that:

  • Originally, SGPC was the parent body and the Shiromani Akali Dal was its political wing. The Akali Party is now a Punjabi secular party by its own admission and, therefore, no longer a Panthic party. Provisions like dual membership of SGPC and Punjab Vidhan Sabha have, therefore, led to political interference in the affairs of the SGPC.
  • Role of SGPC is to manage historical gurdwaras of Punjab and to undertake gurmat parchar, whereas the jurisdiction, the influence of Jathedar, Sri Akal Takht Sahib is global, in multifarious Panthic matters. The office of the Jathedar, Sri Akal Takht, should, therefore, be independent of any and every regional body, and the Jathedar should be selected by representatives of the Sikhs worldwide
The current chaotic mess, therefore, can only be cleansed if the SGPC be independent of the Akali Dal, and the office of the Jathedar, Sri Akal Takht Sahib be independent of both the SGPC and the Akali Dal.

The Sikh leadership of the day being responsible for this upheaval, is under moral obligation to solve the current crisis, and to work out ways and means to create an office of the Jathedar, Sri Akal Takht Sahib as per the aspirations of the Panth worldwide, as also to insulate the SGPC from any external political interference, pressure, within a defined time frame.

(Birendra Kaur)
President
Institute of Sikh Studies

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