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Akal Takht supremacy can't be challenged

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Akal Takht supremacy can't be challenged: Sikh sammelan

Pioneer News Service - Amritsar - Monday, March 10, 2008

The Sikh scholars, legal brains and heads of Sikh organisations on Sunday unanimously passed a resolution reiterating that the Akal Takht was supreme and its supremacy and sovereignty cannot be challenged, compromised and questioned as was being done by certain vested interests.

The occasion was the seminar organised by the Dal Khalsa to discuss about the role, working sphere, status and appointments of the Takht jathedars. The speakers were vocal and went on to the extent in saying that the incumbents use and misuse the authority vested in them, the political leadership maneuvers the religious heads -calling them head priests and employees of the SGPC as per the exigency of the situation.

They observed that the concepts of Sandesh, Gurmata and Hukamnamma have become hazed over the years because of the manner in which edicts have been handed over in recent years -from the blatant interventionist to the utterly ridiculous and the politically motivated.

Delivering the key note address, the party president Satnam Singh said today's seminar was the first in the series of 6 Seminars proposed to be held over the next year to go into the entire gamut of issues relating to the institution of the Akal Takht Sahib and its jathedar.

Kanwar Pal SIngh said without evolving and implementation of specific rules and guidelines regarding the appointment, removal and working sphere of the Jathedar of the Akal Takht and other Takhts, nothing on ground is going to change.

One of the resolutions read by HS Dhami stated that the institution of Akal Takht Sahib is a highest temporal authority of the Sikh nation and the devout Sikhs, irrespective of political leanings revere the institution. The gathering passed another resolution empowering the organisers to constitute a 'draft committee' of scholars, experts and thinkers to fix norms for the post of the jathedar Akal Takht and other Takht. It further said after due deliberations and discussions with various representatives, the proposed committee would submit its report to the Akal Takht by 14 March 2009.

Former Minister Manjit Singh Calcutta while addressing the gathering said the names of the members of the proposed draft committee would be finalised very soon. He explained that they had to undertake the project because the SGPC has failed to do so. He rued that the monopoly of SGPC, Nanded Management Board and Patna Sahib Management Committee in appointing the respective jathedars was the root cause of the problem.

Advocate HS Phoolka in his address said that jathedars of these Five Takhats were appointed and removed by the committees in whose jurisdiction of the respective Takhat falls.

There is no laid down procedure of any of these for appointment and removal of Jathedars though the Singh Sahibans have the highest authority in the Sikh Religion and their writ run among the Sikhs but the committees treat them like their employee.

He said the Jathedars of these Five Takhats concerns and affects the whole of Sikh Nation throughout the world. As such the appointment of the Jathedar shall not be left only to the whims and fancies or prerogative of the respective committee.

Supreme Court lawyer HS Phoolka, Wing Commander (Retd) RS Chhatwal, Damdami Taksal head Baba Harnam Singh, Akand Kirtani jatha head Baldev Singh, Chief Khalsa Deewan secretary Bhag Singh Ankhi, Director Jagdish SIngh, Narien Singh, Dr Gurdarshan Singh from GNDU, KAC convenor Mohkam Singh, Daljit Singh, chairman of Dharam Parchar of the DSGMC, Former jathedar Kewal Singh and Jagtar Singh Jachak, SKP chairman Rajinder Singh, AISSF president Karnail SIngh Peer Mohammad were amongst those dignatories who graced the ocassion.



Conclave blames SAD for Panthic crisis

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 9

Representatives of various Sikh organisations at a conclave, jointly organised by the Dal Khalsa and the Khalsa Action Committee, here today expressed unanimity that ignoring merit while appointing Sikh high priests of various Takhts had created a crisis of sorts in the Panth. They held the ruling Akali Dal and the SGPC responsible for the present Panthic crisis which was a result of “arbitrary†decisions taken by the Sikh clergy who frequently succumb to the pressure of political leaders at the helm of affairs.

Sikh intellectuals, representing various Sikh bodies like the Khalsa Panchayat, Chief Khalsa Diwan, Damdami Taksal, Akhand Kirtani Jatha, Delhi Sikh Management Committee, AISSF (Pir Mohammad) and Akal Federation; besides certain SGPC members and certain former Jathedars, alleged that the Sikh high priests had failed to come up to the aspirations of the Sikh Panth.

They said the ruling Akali Dal had been appointing Jathedars from “circuit house†etc, thereby denigrating the institution of Akal Takht.

The debate was initiated by veteran SGPC member Manjit Singh Calcutta, who said it was unfortunate that the authority of the Sikh high priests was being questioned. Hence, it was the need of the hour to take corrective measures to restore the glory of Akal Takht.

Senior advocate of the Supreme Court H.S. Phulka suggested that a supreme Sikh council be formed, comprising representatives from various Sikh bodies of the world so that Panthic decisions could be taken in the most democratic way. Chief Khalsa Diwan’s secretary Bhag Singh Ankhi,said it was unfortunate that some so-called Sikh intellectuals had been creating division in the Sikh community.

Bhai Mohkam Singh, spokesman for Damdami Taksal, former Jathedar of Damdama Sahib, Giani Kewal Singh, former Granthi of the Golden Temple, Bhai Jagtar Singh Yajak, Dr Gursharnjit Singh and Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa, Chief Damdami Taksal, criticised certain Jathedars for having failed to come up to the expectations of the Sikh community. They said the present Panthic crisis was the result of the appointment of “ineligible†persons as Jathedars.

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