Barely two days after the cremation of Namdhari sect head Satguru Jagjit Singh, his widow Mata Chand Kaur and other senior sect members gave the "guru gaddi" to his nephew Thakur Udai Singh on Sunday, thereby declaring him as the next Satguru.
The move followed the refusal of the
International Namdhari Sangat office-bearers' to accept Udai Singh as the Satguru's successor.
Soon after the cremation on Friday, Thakur Udai Singh had been named the Namdharis' administrative head.
HS Hanspal, former Punjab Congress president and a senior member-cum-spokesperson of the Namdharis, said, "Individuals opposing the decision on the 'guru gaddi' are part of a minuscule splinter group. The heir's declaration was made in front of more than 1 lakh Namdhari followers and was duly accepted. Thakur Udai Singh has taken the seat of Satguru Jagjit Singh at Bhaini Sahib," Hanspal added.
However, Jaswinder Singh, chairman of the International Namdhari Sangat, during a meeting convened here on Sunday, said Thakur Udai Singh's appointment was not acceptable to 95% of the Namdharis living across the world.
Extending their support to Thakur Dalip Singh, elder nephew of Satguru Jagjit Singh and brother of Thakur Udai Singh, this faction claimed that the Namdhari Sangat was not consulted or informed about the announcement of the successor. They claimed that this step was not in keeping with the Satguru's decision, which he had shared with his close confidants in the past.
They also objected to the Satguru's "early" cremation, saying that he was the Namdharis' spiritual leader and his followers from across the world were not able to have his "antim darshan" despite having booked flights for the purpose. "Moreover, in our sect guru gaddi is not left without a successor even for a day and in no way are we going to accept Udai Singh as our Satguru as he is just a businessman whereas Thakur Dalip Singh is a spiritual being," said Navtej Singh , president of the International Namdhari Sangat.
The Namdharis present on the occasion said that Thakur Dalip Singh was allegedly framed in fake criminal cases and was deprived of "antim darshan" of Satguru Jagjit Singh.
They also demanded that the state government/district administration should allow his and his supporters entry in Bhaini Sahib on December 23 on the day of Satguru's antim ardas. "The decision of the 95 percent of sangat over the name of the successor should be final verdict and not of the five percent people who are employees in various business ventures run under the name of Namdhari sect,"
Referring to Satguru Jagjit Singh's last words on the "successor of gaddi" Deedar Singh who remained the "hazuri sewak" of Satguru for almost three decades said, " He had made the declaration in front of his son-in-law Jagtar Singh , grandson Jai Singh while replying to the former Haryana Chief Minister Devi Lal's query on succession. Devi Lal during his last days had come to meet Satguru in Sirsa and had said that Thakur Dalip Singh and no one else would be his successor."
When asked about the role of Mata Chand Kaur, the wife of Satguru Jagjit Singh, the members of International Namdhari Sangat said that she was under pressure from Udai Singh and his associates adding, "moreover, our history is an evidence that no women from the families of Satgurus ever played any role in nomination of the successor."
Navtej Singh also said that Satguru Pratap Singh(predecessor of Satguru Jagjit Singh) had also declared Thakur Dalip Singh as the successor of Satguru Jagjit Singh. To top it all, Satguru Jagjit Singh had adopted Thakur Dalip Singh.
(For details read Hindustantimes)
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