Showing signs of distancing itself from the ‘hukamnama’ (edict) issued by Takht Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded, against cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia on Sunday, the Akal Takht has directed the minister to appear before the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs on May 1.
A meeting of the jathedars of the five takhts, including Takht Sri Hazur Sahib and Takht Sri Patna Sahib, has also been called on the same day. Both these takhts are outside the jurisdiction of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) unlike the Akal Takht, Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib at Anandpur Sahib and Takht Sri Damdama Sahib at Talwandi Sabo.
The jathedars of the five takhts will take stock of the apology tendered by Majithia for distorting a ‘shabad’ of Guru Gobind Singh, ‘de ha shiva varr mohe---’, while addressing an election rally of BJP candidate, Arun Jaitley.
Akal Takht jathedar Gurbachan Singh told select reporters, “We will discuss the written apolog y tendered by Majithia and seek his views on the matter as well.” Asked whether he endorsed the edict issued by Takht Sri Haz u r Sahib, the jathedar re plied, “We will discuss this on May 1.”
Prior to announcing his decision on Majithia, Gurbachan Singh held deliberations with Takht Keshgarh Sahib jathedar Mal Singh and a number of other prominent Sikh leaders. Some of these included SGPC member Kiranjot Kaur and Delhi Akali leaders, Avtar Singh Hit and Kuldip Singh Bhogal. Takht Damdama Sahib jathedar Balwant Singh Nandgarh was expected to come but did not turn up.
MAJITHIA APOLOGISES TO TAKHT HAZUR SAHIB
In a parallel development, Majithia also sought an apology from Takht Sri Hazur Sahib at Nanded in Maharashtra.
In his apology mailed to the jathedar of the takht, Kulwant Singh, the minister said, “As a devoted Sikh I will present myself before the takht soon after the elections and like a humble Sikh will accept and perform the ‘tankha’ (religious punishment) or ‘sewa’ that is assigned to me.”
The minister had mailed his apolog y late in the night on Sunday, soon after he was informed of his being declared a ‘tankhaiya’ (guilty of religious misconduct) for distorting the ‘shabad’ during an election rally a few days back.
Though Kulwant Singh accepted the apology but in his reply mailed to the minister on the letter-head of the takht, the jathedar categorically stated, “If a person is accepting his guilty and is apologising, then he must be forgiven. However, this will be done when Bikram Singh Majithia completes the ‘tankha’.”
This implies that the takht will exonerate Majithia only when he appears before it and accepts the ‘tankha’, which is awarded to him for the offense of ‘religious misconduct’. He will have to perfor m the ‘tankha’, which generally includes dusting shoes of devotees and cleaning utensils in ‘langars’ (community kitchens) of gurdwaras and listening to or offering prayers in shrines that are chosen by the Singh Sahibs (five Sikh priests) before whom the minister will present himself.