Instead of the Nanakshahi calendar controversy, adverse comments about the faith and the Gurus on social networking websites was the serious matter on Thursday in the meeting of the five Sikh high priests.
At the Golden Temple, Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh led the proceedings of this discussion that was to be on a memorandum from the Dhuma-based Sant Samaj that asked Sikhs to revert to the Bikrami calendar, since the change to Nanakshahi had caused confusion, outside Punjab especially, about important religious dates.
"We did not touch the topic," Giani Gurbachan Singh stated in a media interaction after the meeting. Radical Sikh groups and some organisations in Canada, the US and the UK are opposed to a switch back to the Bikrami calendar. They want the original Nanakshahi calendar of 2003 implemented instead of the 2010 version.
About the issues discussed, the jathedar said that priests had the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to monitor the content on Facebook and other social-networking websites to check the posting of adverse comments about religion and the Gurus. They also have been asked to identify the users posting these remarks to be able to hand them over to law and begin legal action.
SGPC nod must to float religious group
Observing that too many religious groups were being floated for vested interests, the jathedar said: "We'll recognise religious groups only if the SGPC approved them and the Akal Takht also agreed. Only then will they qualify for assistance from the two authorities." The decision is based on complaints before the Takht.
The clergy forbade individuals from pasting self pictures alongside the images of Sikh Gurus. It is a common site at religious functions.
Patna Sahib clash
There was also no discussion on the Gurpurb clash at Takht Patna on January 7 over an appointment. The supporters of Patna Sahib management and jathedar Giani Iqbal Singh and were said to be involved. "We received the CD (compact disc) containing a video of the clash only a few minutes ago. We'll view it first," the jathedar said in reply to a query.
Rajasthan MLA summoned
The clergy decided to summon Rajasthan Congress legislator Gurjant Singh and his relatives to the Akal Takht on a charge of stepping inside a gurdwara with shoes on. The gurdwara is at Khara Chak village in Rajasthan.