In its last leg of the tour, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) delegation on Wednesday reached out to various ethnic groups who hold supreme faith in the Guru Granth Sahib in order to bring them into the Sikh mainstream.
During its meeting at the Dubai gurdwara and earlier at Glasgow in Scotland, the delegation has been frequently asked as to why the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and the DSGMC have not been doing enough to bring Banjaras, Sikligars and Sindhi Sikhs who have pledged unflinching devotion to the Guru Granth Sahib for centuries into the mainstream.
Jaswinder Singh had told the DSGMC delegation at the Glasgow gurdwara on Saturday that his experience while visiting the gurdwaras in New Delhi two years back had not been good. "We come from the Sikligar community and follow the teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib. But we were treated shabbily when we went to gurdwaras in Delhi and Punjab. You people always make promises but never live up to those," he told the delegation.
Bimal Bhatia and Vashu Shroff, both Sindhi Sikhs, conveyed their unhappiness to the delegation for not considering them part of the mainstream. "We may not support unshorn hair or beard but we have full faith in the Guru Granth Sahib. However, we are still not part of the mainstream. But I want to make it clear that even if the Sikh supreme bodies do not consider us part of them, we would continue to draw our faith and guidance from the Sikh holy Granth," Bhatia and Shroff told the delegation.
DSGMC president Manjit Singh GK assured them that the DSGMC was committed to bringing all ethnic and other communities into the mainstream.
"We are aware of our number in the world which is marginal. Once we have these groups into the mainstream our numbers would increase by nearly 18 to 20 crores. To get your voice heard, the number of people following a religion is very important," GK said. He said a majority of these groups were based in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in India.
GK said the DSGMC would hold a worldwide convention in New Delhi in November on the issue.
Gurinder Kaur Kandhari, vice-chairperson of Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Dubai, wanted the Akal Takht, SGPC and DSGMC to clarify their stand on Sikhs having halal meat in the Gulf countries.
Kandhari, who was accompanied by SP Singh, general manager of the gurdwara, said the Sikhs living in the Gulf countries had to consume halal meat as the jhatka meat was not permitted there.
"According to the Sikh religion, we are allowed to have only jhatka meat. So we seek your guidance on how to go about it. Besides, if we continue to have halal meat, do we cease to be Sikhs," asked Kandhari and Singh.
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