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Panth Rattan
Frame Rules for Award, Demand Sikh Sholars 

Amritsar, December 6: The Akal Takht may have bestowed the Panth Rattan Fakr-e-Quam award on Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, but Sikh intellectuals feel that there should be a proper procedure to choose a personality for such an honour. 

Talking to The Tribune, Bhai Ashok Singh Bagaria from the Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh, said: “A set of guidelines should be framed by the Sikh high priests who should take various Sikh organisations into confidence for choosing a personality for the award.” 

He said political leaders who had worked for the Panth alone should be considered for the honour. On Badal getting the award, Bagaria said the CM had recently been involved in several controversies.

“The whole exercise was undertaken in haste and the award was bestowed on the CM just a few days of the announcement,”he observed.

He said public opinion should have been taken into consideration before announcing the award. “ The Akal Takht suo motu can’t give away such an award and if it says it has done so on the SGPC’s recommendation, then it further lowers the status of the Takht”, he held. 

Former SGPC secretary Manjeet Singh Calcutta said an independent committee comprising Sikh scholars and intellectuals should be entrusted with the job of framing the guidelines for the award. “The committee should comprise eminent Sikh personalities,” he said. Gursharanjeet Singh, Head, Guru Nanak Studies, GNDU, said in view of the controversy that had erupted following the honour bestowed on the Chief Minister, the SGPC and the Akal Takht should work towards framing norms in this regard. 

He said the award had been given to a few persons posthumously in the past, which was a good tradition. award 

Prithipal Singh, a PA to former Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti, said no rules had been framed for the award till date. 

He said the SGPC should not be involved in the process as it had become politicised. He said the eligibility criteria should be clearly defined for the award and the award be given to a non-controversial person who had serviced the Panth selflessly. 

Dal Khalsa leader Kanwar Pal Singh said the award should be given posthumously. He said the issue needed to be seriously debated.(Courtesy www.tribuneindia.com)



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