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Panthic bodies harden stand over calendar row Panthic bodies harden stand over calendar row

Jan-17-2015 | 0 Comments

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AMRITSAR: Sikh leaders representing various Sikh organizations may give a call for 'Sarbat Khalsa' (congregation of all Sikhs) besides formation of a 'panthic' panel if Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) fails to implement 2003 Nanakshahi Calendar (NC) and frame rules, fix areas of jurisdiction and guidelines for removal of jathedars of Takhts.

The decision was taken at a meeting of over 50 Sikh bodies held at Talwandi Sabo on Thursday under the aegis of Panthic Sewa Lehar and Panthic Talmel Sangathan led by Bhai Panthpreet Singh and former jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib Giani Kewal Singh.

Talking to TOI, Giani Kewal Singh said all the representatives were unanimous over the implementation of 2003 NC and formation of a 'panthic' panel. "If SGPC didn't take decisions according to aspirations of Sikhs we may give a call for convening Sarbat Khalsa to take decisions on issues concerning Sikh 'panth', especially the issue of NC," he said.

Singh, who had been jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib for 8 years, said SGPC was gradually losing its significance for allegedly backing so-called Sant Samaj. "If it fails to take decisions on important issues pertaining to Sikh religion and Sikh identity then Sarbat Khalsa is the only answer left with us," he said.

He said they had asked the state government to pass a resolution in the assembly for amendments in Article 25(B) of the Constitution, which clubs Sikhs with Hindus. "We also want the Punjab government to release Sikhs from jails who have completed their sentences and then put pressure on Centre for the release of all such Sikh prisoners lodged in various jails of India," he said.

On the reports of removal of jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, he said "Any such decision would be highly condemnable and if it happens we have decided to hold an emergency meeting to chalk out our future course of action."

Finding fault in the appointment or ousting of jathedars of Takhts, the Sikh organizations stressed the need to amend rules and advocated inclusion of Sikh scholars, academicians in the process. The Sikh organizations called for complete Rehat Maryada while appointing and removing jathedars.

The organizations also questioned SGPC for taking any policy decisions like ousting Takht jathedars in the face of Supreme Court not recognizing the present SGPC house. Meanwhile, the Sehajdhari Sikh Pary (SSP) chief P S Ranu has claimed that SGPC would be violating the spirit of Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925 if its executive committee removed jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh.

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