Akal Takht bars granthis from using cell phones while on duty

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: May 28, 2015 09:59 IST

‘Ragis’ and ‘granthis’ better remember their hymns and verses, as the Akal Takht has barred them from carrying mobile phones while on duty at the Golden Temple or any other Sikh shrine.

The Akal Takht, supreme temporal authority of its religion, took the decision on Wednesday at a meeting of the Sikh high priests here. Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh presided over the meeting and, later, told the media about “complaints from certain quarters against ‘granthis’ (priests) who stop reading from holy book Guru Granth Sahib to receive telephone calls”.

All shrines, even the ones located abroad, are to implement the order. “We will hold the shrine managements responsible, if we receive reports against their ‘granthis’,” he added. The high priests took a serious view of reports that some ‘ragis’ (hymn singers) performed kirtan by reading download verses from their phones. “It’s okay to keep hymns on your handset, but reading from it while performing kirtan is not a tradition. All ‘ragis’ must memorise ‘Gurbani’ so that they need no help of gadgets,” the jathedar said.

Takht Keshgarh Sahib jathedar Giani Mal Singh, Takht Damdama Sahib acting jathedar Giani Gurmukh Singh, Takht Patna Sahib jathedar Giani Iqbal Singh, and Golden Temple ‘granthi’ Giani Raghbir Singh attended the meeting.


The violence that broke out in the Golden Temple on June 6 last year on the 30th anniversary of Operation Bluestar is still fresh in the memory of the Akal Takht jathedar.

The clash between radicals and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) activists had left 12 people injured. For avoiding a repeat, jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh has appealed to all Sikh ‘jathebandis’ to maintain peace on June 6. The SGPC and the Golden Temple management have been asked take necessary precautions.

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