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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

Special Vidhan Sabha session: House urges Takht to perform kirtan at Golden Temple

Opposition backs Cong govt’s call for ending the ‘discriminatory practice that violates the essence of Gurbani’

chandigarh Updated: Nov 07, 2019 23:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
(Sameer Sehgal/HT)
         

The Punjab Vidhan Sabha on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution requesting the Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of Sikhism, and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to allow women to perform kirtan at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

The resolution was moved by state rural development minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa on the second and concluding day of the special assembly session convened by the government to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

It was passed by the members of the ruling Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) present in the House.

“...there is no instance of discrimination between man and woman in Gurbani or Sikh Gurus’ history at any level. It is, however, unfortunate that the Sikh women are not allowed to perform kirtan in the sanctum sanctorum of the Darbar Sahib, Amritsar...this session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha appeals to the Akal Takht jathedar and the SGPC to end this discriminatory practice that violates the essence of Gurbani,” it read.

Bajwa had moved the resolution on Wednesday also, but it was put on hold by speaker Rana KP Singh. As soon as the proceedings began on Thursday, the minister again expressed his intent to bring the resolution.

Expressing his support for equal rights for women, Akali MLA Parminder Singh Dhindsa said the issue was in the domain of the SGPC and the Akal Takht. “The Akal Takht is already aware of this issue. It is not in our domain to tell them what to do or insinuate that they are deliberately not letting women to sing hymns at the Golden Temple. This approach is not good. If at all, we should just make a request to consider this,” he said.

Bajwa immediately responded, saying he held the Akal Takht in high esteem and was not challenging its authority. “We will make a request to the SGPC and the Akal Takht,” he said. Dhindsa further asked the minister if it was a government resolution or his individual move. On this, the speaker said a minister was part of the government.

AAP legislator Kultar Singh Sandhwan criticised the SAD for raising questions over the resolution. Later, the resolution was unanimously adopted by the House. After the session, Dhindsa said he still had no clarity whether the resolution was brought by the state government or the minister.