SGPC warns Pak gurdwara body not to defy Akal Takht

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: May 23, 2015 00:09 IST

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has warned the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) against challenging the authority of the Akal Takht, the supreme institution for all Sikhs.

"The PSGPC seems to be functioning under the guidance of certain individuals who are responsible for instigating it against the Akal Takht," SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar said while talking to the media here on Friday after chairing a meeting of the SGPC executive.

Makkar made this remark when asked to comment on the PSGPC's decision to observe the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev in Lahore on June 16, in accordance with the date in the original Nanakshahi calendar of 2003. The SGPC and Sikhs in India observed this event on Friday (May 22), as per the date in the SGPC calendar. This calendar has been given recognition by the Akal Takht.

Makkar said the SGPC held the Akal Takht in high esteem and would abide by its decisions. He advised the PSGPC to accept the supremacy of the Akal Takht instead of being guided by individuals who are based on foreign soil. He, however, refused to identify the individuals, saying that they would stand exposed in due course.

The SGPC and the PSGPC have been at loggerheads over the date of Guru Arjan Dev's martyrdom day. The PSGPC has also refused to hand over the 'kar sewa' of Gurdwara Dera Sahib to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), which had made a request to the Pakistan body recently. The PSGPC had categorically told the DSGMC to give its consent to the Nanakshahi calendar of 2003 if it wanted charge of the 'kar sewa'.

During a tour of Pakistan last year, Makkar had tried his best to convince the PSGPC on the need for doing away with the original Nanakshahi calendar, as it was causing confusion among Sikhs over the dates of certain important events. The SGPC discarded the Nanakshahi calendar in March this year and prepared one which resembles the traditional Bikrami calendar.

'Patits have no place in SGPC'

Asked to comment on Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh asking the SGPC to deal with 'patits' (apostates) within the gurdwara body, Makkar assured that action would be taken against all employees who did not follow the Sikh religious code. Any SGPC employee found consuming liquor or taking drugs will be sacked, he added.

Regarding the jathedar's comments that family members of all SGPC employees also needed to be 'sabat soorat' Sikhs, he said this, too, would be ensured. If a 'patit' is found among families of employees staying in SGPC-owned accommodations, those families would be asked to immediately vacate those houses.

Makkar expressed satisfaction over the overall functioning of the SGPC and said a decision had been taken to give 6% DA (dearness allowance) to all SGPC employees. He further said that principals or teachers of SGPC-run educational institutions would be rewarded for good work.

Panel to finalise name for SGPC chief secy's post

The SGPC executive, which met on Friday, decided to form a three-member panel to finalise the name for the SGPC chief secretary's post. This is primarily an honorary post. Veteran Akali leader Manjit Singh Calcutta had been appointed to this post by then SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

The panel consists of SGPC senior vice-president Raghujit Singh Virk, general secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur and member Rajinder Singh Mehta. The panel will select the person most suitable for this job and then submit its report to SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar.

The executive gave all credit for the Dharmik Darshan Yatra to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his deputy Sukhbir Singh Badal. A resolution passed at the meeting said it was due to the initiative of the two Badals that the people of Punjab were able to get a glimpse of relics of the Sikh Gurus. The executive also condoled the deaths that occurred in the Nepal earthquake.

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