Why can’t women conduct kirtan at Golden Temple? SGPC, jathedar cite maryada

“The demand of Sikh-Americans to allow women to sing hymns at the Golden Temple is a very old issue.”

punjab Updated: Jul 28, 2017 09:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mansa
Golden Temple,Sikhism,Women should sing hymns
Though Badungar criticised the central government over the missing items issue, he was quite hopeful that the union government will exempt GST on the (HT Photo)

Terming the demand for allowing women to sing hymns at the Golden Temple an issue of ‘maryada’, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Kirpal Singh Badungar on Thursday passed the buck to the Akal Takht jathedar.

“The demand of Sikh Americans to allow women to sing hymns at the Golden temple is a very old issue, which also came up during my previous tenure as SGPC chief in 2002. It is an issue of maryada, which can only be dealt by the honourable Akal Takht Sahib and its jathedar,” said Badungar, on the sidelines of a religious programme at a girls’ college here.

He categorically stated that the SGPC has no role in allowing or denying such rights to women.

Responding to a media query over the Centre’s claim that the army does not have any manuscripts that went missing from the Sikh reference library during the Operation Bluestar, Badungar said that every political party that ruled at the Centre has repeatedly refused to acknowledge this issue.

He said the SGPC will now approach the newly elected President Ram Nath Kovind on this issue.

“We had met the previous president recently and now we will approach the new president to resolve this issue. The government of India has been changing its statements over the issue for the past 33 years. We have the copies of all the statements of the government and we will submit these to the president, who is also the supreme commander of the armed forces.”

Though Badungar criticised the Centre over the missing Sikh manuscripts, he expressed hope that the NDA government will exempt the goods and services tax (GST) on the items used in langar served at the Golden Temple.

The SGPC chief also urged the Punjab government to rein in the elements involved in sacrilege incidents and ensure that the communal harmony in the state is not disturbed.

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Maryada can’t be altered easily: Akal Takht athedar

Meanwhile, Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh has asserted that the ‘kirtan maryada’ at the Golden Temple centuries’ old and it cannot be altered easily.

Replying to mediapersons’ queries after a meeting of five Sikh high priests in Amritsar, he, however, said, “Still the matter can be considered in a meeting of Panj Singh Sahiban.”

First Published: Jul 27, 2017 16:25 IST