The Sikh clergy is slated to meet in Amritsar on Thursday to take stock of mushrooming caste-based gurdwaras across Punjab despite an Akal Takht edict banning holy places of the community on caste lines.
Last Sunday, Bolywood star Aamir Khan's focus on Satyamev Jayate programme was on untouchability and the caste system prevalent in Indian society.
In the episode, Aamir showed existence of caste-based gurdwaras in rural areas, with members of so-called lower castes claiming that they were often prohibited from entering holy places managed by the upper castes despite clearcut message of the Sikh Gurus that all human beings are equal.
It is not for the first time that the Sikh clergy would discuss this issue since the issue has figured in their meetings in the past. In fact, a couple of years back, an edict was issued from the Akal Takht to ban Sikh holy places on caste lines.
The edict however did not have the desired effect as gurdwaras on caste lines continue to be built, particularly in rural Punjab. In fact, often politicians dole out funds for such places in a bid to woo voters.
Meanwhile, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) member Inderjit Singh Basarke has, in a letter delivered to Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, appealed for review of the edict banning 'parkash' of Guru Granth Sahib in marriage palaces.
In the letter, Basarke stated that while he supported the edict, the 'parkash' of the holy scriptures should be allowed at ceremonies related to those who pass away.
He pointed out that at times due to non-availability of adequate space or appropriate or suitable time in gurdwaras, families were left with no option but to hold 'bhog' ceremonies in marriage palaces.
The Akal Takht had issued the ban after receiving reports of serving of liquor during weddings in marriage palaces in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib.