Ignoring appeals from a section of the Sikh community for finding an amicable solution to the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (HSGMC) issue so as to put an end to the ongoing tussle within the community, the Akal Takht has described the formation of a separate gurdwara committee by the neighbouring state as “a direct attack on the Sikh panth”.
“The Akal Takht in consultation with the other takhts will make every effort that is necessary to counter this attack that is aimed at dividing and weaken the Sikhs,” Akal Takht jathedar Gurbachan Singh stated in a release on Friday.
Pointing out that the gurus had blessed the Sikhs with the ‘sewa-sambal’ (management) of the gurdwaras, the jathedar claimed that these shrines were the source from which the Sikhs gathered ‘shakti’ (strength). It was this strength that led to the British quitting interference in gurdwara matters and handing over their management to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), he added.
“However, efforts continue to be made to erode the influence of the SGPC and of the panth and this will not be tolerated at any cost,” he added.
The jathedar referred to the Nehru-Tara Singh pact and said the government had agreed that henceforth it will not interfere in the affairs of Sikh shrines. This pact clearly states that if an amendment has to be made in the Sikh Gurdwara Act, it will be done so only after obtaining the consent of the SGPC, he claimed while pointing out that the formation of the HSGMC was a violation of this pact.
“The fratricidal feud that has broken out is not in the interests of the panth and SGPC. We must make all-out efforts to put an end to this feud and strengthen the SGPC and panth,” he added.
Though the jathedar called for ‘panthic ekta’ (Sikh unity), he made no appeal either to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) or HSGMC (ad hoc) to call off their proposed conventions to be held at Amritsar and Karnal on July 27 and 28, respectively.