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Former Jathedar of Akal Takht excommunicated

india Updated: Jan 29, 2010 23:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The five Sikh high priests on Friday issued a hukamnama (edict) to excommunicate former Akal Takht Jathedar Darshan Singh Ragi from the Sikh panth (faith).

No sitting or former jathedar (head) of a major Sikh shrine has ever been excommunicated in the history of Sikhism. The Akal Takht, located in the Golden Temple in Amritsar, is among the five highest seats of Sikh religious authority.

Ragi was charged with blasphemy for “unnecessarily” quoting banned scripture Dasam Granth during a public discourse in the United States in November.

The clergy ordered Sikhs the world over to snap all ties with Ragi, who was not present. Any Sikh found “guilty” of cooperating with him would also be dealt with strongly, they said.

“He failed to capitalise on the special opportunity provided to him for atonement and instead, retorted with unparliamentary language, which can't be tolerated at any cost,” the clergy said in its order.

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, Takht Kesgarh Sahib Jathedar Giani Tarlochan Singh, Takht Damdama Sahib Jathedar Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Takht Patna Sahib Jathedar Giani Iqbal Singh and Takht Hazoor Sahib Deputy Jathedar Jyotinder Singh signed the edict.

Ironically, the Dasam Granth is adorned like the Guru Granth Sahib at Takht Patna Sahib and Takht Hazoor Sahib, two of the Sikh shrines that were party to the decision.

Former Jathedar of Akal Takht excommunicated

HT Correspondent

letters@hindustantimes.com

Amritsar

The five Sikh high priests on Friday issued a hukamnama (edict) to excommunicate former Akal Takht Jathedar Darshan Singh Ragi from the Sikh panth (faith).

No sitting or former jathedar (head) of a major Sikh shrine has ever been excommunicated in the history of Sikhism. The Akal Takht, located in the Golden Temple in Amritsar, is among the five highest seats of Sikh religious authority.

Ragi was charged with blasphemy for “unnecessarily” quoting banned scripture Dasam Granth during a public discourse in the United States in November.

The clergy ordered Sikhs the world over to snap all ties with Ragi, who was not present. Any Sikh found “guilty” of cooperating with him would also be dealt with strongly, they said.

“He failed to capitalise on the special opportunity provided to him for atonement and instead, retorted with unparliamentary language, which can't be tolerated at any cost,” the clergy said in its order.

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, Takht Kesgarh Sahib Jathedar Giani Tarlochan Singh, Takht Damdama Sahib Jathedar Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Takht Patna Sahib Jathedar Giani Iqbal Singh and Takht Hazoor Sahib Deputy Jathedar Jyotinder Singh signed the edict.

Ironically, the Dasam Granth is adorned like the Guru Granth Sahib at Takht Patna Sahib and Takht Hazoor Sahib, two of the Sikh shrines that were party to the decision.

Ragi defiant

Ragi, however, remained defiant.
“According to their directive, I am no longer a Sikh. Now, the Sikh mainstream has to decide what importance they attach to this hukamnama. Let them decide whether they want to continue to maintain ties with me or not,” he told HT.

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