Confrontation builds up after parallel Sikh clergy challenged the authority of SGPC, Akal Takht

October 13, 2017 10:32 AM

Punajb News Express/Satinder Bains
CHANDIGARH: The parallel Sikh clergy headed by a former militant leader Dhian Singh Mand who was appointed acting Jathedar of Akal Takht by Sarbat Khalsa called by radical Sikh organisations has fallen into direct confrontation with the eastablished authority of Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhs in Amritsar of Punjab.

The Shiromani Gurdawara Parbhandak Committee(SGPC), the constituional body responsible for controlling notified Sikh shrines is on the side of traditional Sikh high priests of five Takhts, the seats of power. Giani Gurbachan Singh Jathedar of Akal Takht heads the traditional clergy. The prestige of SGPC and authority of Akal Takht was dented due to political interference by Badal family who controls the all powerful Sikh bodies.

The Sarbat Khalsa held on November 10,2015 appointed another Militant leader Jagtar Singh Hawara as Jathedar of Akal Takht. Since Hawara was in jail in Beant Singh assassination case, Mand was appointed acting Jathedar of Akal Takht.The Sarbat Khalsa had given call to free Akal Takht from the clutches of Badal family-former CM Parkash Singh Badal and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal.

The SGPC, Akal Takht and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had rejected the appointment of parallel Sikh clergy, stating that anti-Panthic powers were trying to create confusion and weaken the Sikh Panth. The radical Sikh organisations however stood the ground and took to challenge the authority of traditional Sikh high preists.

The crisis deepened when the parallel acting Jathedar Dhian Singh Mand had started summoning Akali leaders and heads of Sikh organisations in cases of violation of 'Sikh maryada' (Sikh practices) or religious misconduct. In the recent action, Mand had yesterday summoned former SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur for her alleged role and conviction in murder of her daughter. The parallel Jathedar was yesterday stopped from entering Akal Takht permises where they wanted to hold a court to punish Master Johar Singh President of Chhota Ghallughara Gurdawara Management Trust at Quadian. Master Johar Singh was accused of failing to control immoral activities in the Gurdawara where its manager was caught with a woman in compromising position.

The kal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh had summoned Master Johar Singh to appear before Sikh clergy on October 13 but the parallel Jathedar summoned him on October 12 and also gave one weaks religious punishment ot Johar who apologised. Johar who was sitting inside Akal Takhat was thrown out of Golden Temple complex by SGPC task force. Johar it seemed had came intentionally to acknowledge the authority of parallel Sikh clergy. He was let off with minor punishment by Dhian Singh Mand who lastly held the meeting with fellow jathedars outside Golden Temple complex.

Now Bibi Jagir Kaur has beena sked to appear before parallel Jathedars on November 7, another phase of confrontation with traditinal Sikh leadership is expected. The issue of Bibi Jagir Kaur was first raised by AAP leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira in an open letter written to Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh and demanded to excommunicate Bibi Jagor Kaur on the lines of Akali leader Sucha Singh Langah who was excommunicated for immoral act of raping a woman forcibly for nine years. The parallel Sikh clergy had excommunicated Langah a day before eastablished high priests announced theit decision.

The SGPC president Kirpal Singh Badingar see Congress party hand in confrontation. SAD General Secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra also carry the same view and said that Congress was for long trying to distablise the Sikh institutions.

More than religious it is a political battle between the two sides in the background of misuse of religious bodies by Badal family to promote their political interests. It was under pressure of SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal that Akal Takht exonerated dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh and later Sikh clergy withdrew the Hukamnama under community outrage. It is matter of record that Sikh high preists who would not follow the dictats of political masters would be penalised and harrassed. The continous abrasions have led to erosion of authority of Akal Takht and only political leadership is responsible for it.

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