Punjab revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia performed “sewa” (religious service) at Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji in Patna City on Thursday as penance. He dusted shoes, washed utensils and listened to Gurbani Kirtan at the Harmandir Sahib.
The minister, a senior Akali Dal leader, is undergoing “tankha” (penance) on the orders of Sikh high priests to do religious penance at the five temporal seats (Takhts) of the Sikh religion after he distorted a religious hymn during a political event for Arun Jaitley, the BJP candidate from the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat.
Majithia was asked to carry out voluntary service (sewa) at each of the five Takhts, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbhachan Singh had announced.
Sources said, Majithia had at an election rally reportedly distorted a hymn in Gurbani, compositions of the Sikh gurus, and inserted Jaitley's name into it.
Jathedar of Akal Takht Giani Gurbachan Singh had pronounced the decision in presence of Majithia at Akal Takht. He was also asked to deposit Rs 501 in the Gurdwara treasury. Majithia accepted the religious punishment.
Earlier, Majithia had submitted an apology in writing before the Takht, while accepting his act.
Apart from Akal Takht and Takht Keshgarh Sahib, the other shrines are Takht Hazur Sahib (Nanded-Maharashtra), Takht Patna Sahib (Patna-Bihar) and Takht Damdama Sahib (Talwandi Sabo-Punjab).
The Sikh bodies had urged the Jathedar Akal Takht to hand down severe punishment to Majithia so that nobody would dare repeat such a thing in future.