Jump to content

Gurdwara Parbandhak Committees and Takhts


Guest
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi,

Can someone please explain to me the origins of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee? ie when was it created, who created it, why was it created, what is the purpose of it, why is there a Delhi Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, is HGPC also separate from SGPC, what role does SGPC play in Gurdwaras outside of Punjab/Haryana,

Also, what is the role of the 5 Takhts and how important are these today?

Yeah, i know these are probably real basic questions i should know answers to but i have never taken any interest in Gurdwara management, religious politics etc,

Until now that is.

Thanks for any help,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From the above article on the SGPC website:

A bloody encounter took place at the village Gohalwar near Amritsar. Baba Deep Singh was mortally wounded. He gripped and supported his almost severed head with his left hand and with the right, he went on mowing down the enemies

:x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

isnt it so that Baba Deep Singh Ji's sees was completely severed and not "almost". I think its an attempt to make it look more "realstic"; abit like the argument that Guru Gobind Singh Ji didnt cut any of the Panj pyares heads. although both these events could be discussed in different threads

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. SGPC born out of nothing will return to nothing

2. Takhts: originally only four: fifth Takht is Budha Dal, the moving Takht.

Do you have any more links with the history of Takhts and Gurdwara Parbandhak Committees?

The SGPC site doesnt explain much...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. SGPC born out of nothing will return to nothing

2. Takhts: originally only four: fifth Takht is Budha Dal, the moving Takht.

In the Akali movement to liberate the Gurdwaras from the Mahants between 1920-25 which led to the formation of the SGPC

400 Sikhs lost their lives, some killed in police firings, others beaten to death by police lathis and many killed by the goons hired by Mahant Narain Das. Many of these Sikhs were burnt alive at Nankana Sahib

2000 suffered major injuries and many lost various limbs and were unable to earn their daily bread

40,000 Sikhs suffered imprisonment for various periods of time

1,600,000 Rupees were paid by way of fines imposed on Sikh protestors by the courts

700 Sikhs employed in various capacities in the government lost their jobs and their pensions

Ban was imposed on employment of Sikhs in civil and military posts for this period

Many Sikh military pensioners lost their right to their pensions

Which other modern movement can claim such numbers considering how low the Sikh population was at that time (3 millions)

It is possible many people on this forum may have had anchestors who took part in this movement or suffered in some way due to the British actions against the Akalis

For some people this was just 'nothing'

Just occurred to me, I know some people will think that I have some vandetta against Lalleshvari (it's 5am here and i only got 3 hours sleep) but Dynamic Banda, Beast and some others will confirm that I try and counter anything which I believe in not correct, if you don't agree with that.. SUE ME!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Javanmard

1. The only real Akalis are Nihang and wear a farla!

2. Curious how the jathas that went to liberate Nankana Sahib had been blessed by Akali Baba Sahib Singh Kaladhari, Nihang jathedar of the Akal Takht who has been attacked in a hideous way by the same Neo-Akalis!!!

3. It's nice to see people with opinions !!! Naunidhi please continue: it's really cute!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. The only real Akalis are Nihang and wear a farla!

2. Curious how the jathas that went to liberate Nankana Sahib had been blessed by Akali Baba Sahib Singh Kaladhari, Nihang jathedar of the Akal Takht who has been attacked in a hideous way by the same Neo-Akalis!!!

3. It's nice to see people with opinions !!! Naunidhi please continue: it's really cute!!!

can you elaborate?

what you mean akalis attacked some Baba?

It is possible many people on this forum may have had anchestors who took part in this movement or suffered in some way due to the British actions against the Akalis

Aussie Bhanji, one of my friends grandfather took part in the Akali movement!. I know one guy here whose ancestors could never have taken part in the Akali movement.. like your most famous export Rolf Harris says...Can you tell what who it is yet

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jahan!

I have book in which information is given in Punjabi lanaguage not in english though. Do you want me to scan and post them here? It has good explanation. You just confirm that you can read Punjabi and I will scan those pages and post them under this thread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jahan!

I have book in which information is given in Punjabi lanaguage not in english though. Do you want me to scan and post them here? It has good explanation. You just confirm that you can read Punjabi and I will scan those pages and post them under this thread.

Is it Shiromani Committee da 50 sala Ithihaas by Shamsher Singh Ashok?

It's a good resource book, contains details of all the meetings ever held by the SGPC as well as the resolutions during the last 50 years

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Javanmard

The real authority of the Panth (Budha Dal) at that time did not believe in killing other Sikhs. Some other organisations such as Babbar Khalsa though believe that it is ok to assassinate 60 year old Akali Nihangs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The real authority of the Panth (Budha Dal) at that time did not believe in killing other Sikhs. Some other organisations such as Babbar Khalsa though believe that it is ok to assassinate 60 year old Akali Nihangs.

My father is pardhan of our Gurdwara in Melbourne. My grandfather was close to the Akali leaders like Master Tara Singh, Kartar Singh Jhabbar and others. When I was younger he used to tell what happened during the Akali movement and you he did not tell us anything like that. Are you sure you're not making it up?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In reponse to one of the earlier posts in this.... The SGPC wasnt born out of nothing, it was in my view born out of the Singh Sabha movement which had earlier helped Sikhism in a big way. Plus it worked to take control of Gurdwaras many of which were having activites done within them which were non-Sikh. When I say non-Sikh I mean against the teachings of our Guru's.

I have read many comments made against the SGPC and Singh Sabha movement over the internet. I think this is wrong.

For those that don't know... the Singh Sabha movement massively aided in reviving Sikhism with Waheguru Ji's kirpa, when people were turning to Christianity, Arya Samaj, slipping back into Hinduism, etc, due to their lack of understanding & knowledge of Sikhism. The Singh Sabha movement done loads to make people aware of the beliefs of Sikhism in many ways. The British had predicted that Sikhism as a religion would eventually become extinct, as in one of their census only 700,000 people classified themselves as Sikh after the fall of the Sikh Empire.

It was due to the Singh Sabha movement, with Waheguru Ji's kirpa, this number was increased, and today there are more than 20 million people who consider themselves Sikhs. Also great Sikhs such as Baba Atter Singh Ji (Mastuana Wale) helped revive the way of Sikhism. Baba Ji baptized over a Million people into the Khalsa during their lifetime... now thats amazing!

So please could people in future refrain from comments such as "the SGPC was born outta nothing and will return to nothing", and any comments against the Singh Sabha movement.

I didnt mean any offence, or anything to anyone and if I have made any mistakes please forgive me.

Waheguru ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I thought a couple of british guys wrote the Rehit Maryada for the SGPC? "

God knows.

Sometimes I pick up info and I never bother asking for the source (not good I know). Thats why I wrote it as more of a question than a statement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An view point of Dr. Kashmir Singh regarding this post.

Guru Granth Sahib & 1925 Sikh Gurdwara Act

Dr. Kashmir Singh

Prof of Law

Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar

Abstract

The Gurdwara Reform Movement, which led to the passing of the Sikh Gurdwara act in 1925, started because the Mahants were not duly recognizing the status and role of Siri Guru Granth Sahib in the gurdwara by placing other objects of worship alongwith. The pious atmosphere of Gurdwaras sanctified by the presence of GGS was polluted by their misdeeds and misuse of endowed property. This remarkable pieace of legislation is considered an acheivement of Sikhs in the twentieth centry. The Sikhs got not only their Gurdwaras but also the full freedom to manage them. In fact it was a compromising measure in the prevailing suitation.

Though the Act as a whole is meant for the propagation of ideals and philosophy contained in Guru Granth Sahib, but only the provisions making specific reference to Siri Guru Granth sahib are chosen for comment.

The act provides that all those are Sikhs who solemmnly declare that they are Sikhs and have no other religion and beleive in Guru Granth Sahib and ten Gurus. Unlike the delhi Sikh Gurdwara Act, unshorn hair is not prescribed as a necessary condition in the Act though hair does have immense affect the defination of 'Sikh'. The act has been amended to make unshorn hair a necessary requirment for the voters in Gurdwara elections.

The act defines "Sahjdhari Sikh" as that person, who performs ceremonies according to the Sikh rites, does not use tobbaco or kutha, can recite mul mantar and is not patit. 'Sahjdhari Sikh' after haircut he becomes a patit.

Defination of "Patit" in the Act requires revision. It only declares Amritdharis to be patit on committing any of the four Kurahits and Keshdharis to be so on getting hair-cut. It is submitted that the keshadharis should also be declared patit on commission of any of the four kurahits just like Amritdharis and non-Keshadharis be declared patit for committing any of the kurahits except the one concenring hair.

Only dedicated and honest Sikhs with some special qualifications should be co-opted/nominated as member of the Gurdwara Commitees. Contribution of daswandh and disclousure of details about assets and liablities, involvement in criminal cases, education and commitment towards religion may be made compulsary for membership of Gurdwara Committes. Debarring members from becoming legislators will also prevent the members to use it as ladder for political ascendancy.

The act requires proof of two conditions for declaration for a religious place to be Sikh Gurdwara. The condition concenring user was sufficent for the purpose, another condition concerning purpose or object of establishing the Gurdwara seems to be added to deny the Sikh claims to the religious places. Then court interpretation from 1984 onwards that to be Sikh Gurdwara, Guru Granth Sahib and Nishan Sahib must be there, is also against Sikh Interests. Presence of Guru Granth Sahib in Gurdwara is must but absence of Nishan Sahib should not be used to negate the character of an institution as Sikh Gurdwara. It is an addition burden of proof upon the SIkhs to get a place declared as Sikh Gurdwara.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Friend of mine emailed me the article below. Thoughts anyone??

__________________________________________________________

The Sikh Takhts and Jathedars

By Hardit Singh

During the last two decades the functioning of the Sikh Takhts, particularly Akal Takht and its Jathedar, has become controversial due to ignorance and lack of understanding of its history, tradition and role. People and organisations make representations to the Jathedar for his advice as if he were the supreme authority of the Sikhs. Some even equate him with the Pope of Rome. An editor of a well known magazine recently said that the office of the Akal Takht Jathedar was founded in the 17th century and that he should represent the entire Panth and the "jathedar should be appointed as per the instructions given by Guru Gobind Singh during his last days". In actuality Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) had neither appointed any jathedar nor left any instructions in this regard.

The three Takhts' jathedars in Punjab by difference of opinion amongst themselves, political pressure, and lack of understanding of Sikh tenets have made a mockery of the Akal Takhts status. They have issued a Hukamnama that has split the Sikhs by making an issue of langar. They have proclaimed that food in a langar can only be served and taken while squatting in a line on the floor and not on tables and chairs. A jathedar had appointed his own `Punj Piaras' at a place away from he Akal Takht and ex-communicated a disliked person without proper procedure. An ex-jathedar is going about claiming that he is the real jathedar of the Akal Takht.

The Sikhs today have one Akal Takht at Amritsar (Punjab) and four other Takhts — one each at Anandpur Sahib (Punjab), Damdama Sahib (Punjab), Patna Sahib (Bihar) and Nanded Sahib (Maharashtra). Akal Takht is the foremost and this was the only Takht existing during the Gurus' period (1469-1708) whilst the Damdama Sahib Takht was declared as such after Partition of India in 1947, the other three Takhts were recognized during the Misl period of the 18th century.

Akal Takht was constructed by Guru Hargobind (1595-1644) in 1609 at an eight-feet high mound facing Harimandar Sahib (Golden Temple). Initially, only the basement and the ground floor were built. Three more storeys were added during the Misl and Maharaja Ranjit Singh's times. Its throne height was purposely kept two feet higher than the Mughal throne at Delhi. Here Guru Hargobind, aged 11, ascended the throne wearing two swords representing the spiritual power (Piri) and temporal power (Miri), instead of the traditional "Seli Topi" (woollen cord cap) worn by the earlier Gurus. He also wore a turban adorned with an aigrette and held a falcon in his hand as an emblem of royalty. The Guru sat in state, held court, discussed matters on the community and humanity at large, and issued "hukamnama" (edicts).

The Takht at Anandpur Sahib, known as Keshgarh Sahib, is the place where Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) created the Khalsa Panth in 1699 to uphold righteousness and extirpate tyrants. As the name of the place suggests, keeping of unshorn hair by the Sikhs was made obligatory. At Damdama Sahib Guru Gobind Singh had completed the Adi Granth by inclusion of his father Guru Teg Bahadur's (1622-1675) gurbani into it and had declared this as "Guru ki Kanshi" — the centre of knowledge and learning. The Takht at Patna Sahib is the birth place of Guru Gobind Singh and the one at Nanded Sahib is the place where he shed his mortal frame. Sri Guru Granth Sahib was enthroned as the eternal Guru of the Sikhs.

The three Takhts in Punjab are under the administration of the partially government controlled SGPC, which was constituted under the Sikh Gurudwara Act of 1925 by the British government. The other two Takhts at Patna Sahib and Nanded Sahib are managed by the local boards under the supervision of the local Deputy Commissioners. The SGPC appoints Jathedars for the Takhts in Punjab whilst the appointment of the other two is made by the local boards subject to approval by the respective Deputy Commissioners.

After the martyrdom of his father, Guru Arjan Dev (1563-1606), Guru Hargobind had realised that time had come to infuse martial spirit in the Sikhs as well to defend the new faith against the Mughals, who were determined to crush them. He fought four battles against the Mughals which he won in spite of being outnumbered in strength and arms. In order to avoid the holy Harimandar Sahib complex from becoming continued arena of conflict and also to ensure development of the new Amritsar town, he shifted to Kiratpur Sahib in 1634.

As none of the successive Gurus stayed in Amritsar thereafter, the Akal Takht sovereignty (i.e. functioning of the "Miri and Piri" concept) remained with their person wherever they were until 1708 when Guru Gobind Singh shed his mortal frame. At this time the Guru had neither appointed nor conferred any glorified status like the Jathedar on anybody; he only called upon Bhai Santokh Singh to run the Guru's langar efficiently.

"After 1708, Amritsar, with the location of the Harimandar Sahib and the Akal Takht complex, became the hub of the Sikh community and centre of resistance against the Mughals. Akal Takht then resumed its original role under the Guru Granth-Guru Panth concept enunciated by the Tenth Master. Under this concept, the personal powers of the living Guru were bifurcated. The "Piri" or "Jot" (Divine light or wisdom) was vested with Guru Granth. "Miri" or "Jugat" (Management of temporal affairs) was entrusted to the Guru Panth as decisions had to be made according to various situations in the spirit of the Gurbani.

The terms "Takht Jathedar" has no tradition in the Sikh history. During the Gurus' times and Misl period, respected (Gurmukh) Sikhs were either called Babas or Bhais such as Baba Budhaji, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, Baba Deep Singh, Bhai Gurdas, Bhai Kanahiya, Bhai Nand Lal, etc. The Misl heads were called Sardars such as Sardar Kapoor Singh, Sardar Baghel Singh, Sardar Jassa Singh. Only the heads of armed groups (jathas) were known as Jathedars. Similarly, the heads of unarmed jathas, which went from Akal Takht for the liberation of gurdwaras during the Akali movement of the 1920s, were called Jathedars. Thus, in the Sikh tradition the term Jathedar applies to the head of an armed or unarmed jatha only and not to any personality or office-bearer.

A general notion that Bhai Mani Singh and Akali Phulla Singh were the Jathedars of Akal Takht is not at all correct. Mata Sunderiji had appointed Bhai Mani Singh as a granthi-cum-custodian of the Harimandar Sahib complex to stabilise its affairs following Mughal repression. It was during this period that Baba Banda Singh Bahadur along with the 700 followers were executed in Delhi in 1716. Akali Phoola Singh was the head of the Nihang Dal based in Amritsar. He was the most pious, courageous and selfless leader of that time. It was in that influential position that he had confronted Maharaja Ranjit Singh for his moral lapse, and not as the Jathedar of Akal Takht. The Maharaja had not allowed any parallel authority, much less a Sikh religious one, during his regime.

The Jathedars' appointment for the Takhts had been introduced after the enactment of the Sikh Gurdwara Act of 1925, although there was neither any provision for creating such a rank nor even the term of Jathedar is mentioned in the Act. The Takhts are graded as gurdwaras and their names are included in the list of gurdwaras given in Schedule 1 of the Act. Granthis (priests) are named as ministers. Only the Harimandar Sahib and the Takhts are entitled to have head ministers. It is not clear how this nomenclature of Jathedar came into use for the Takhts and not for the Harimandar Sahib, which still has a Head Granthi. It is possible that the first appointed persons for the Takhts were addressed as Jathedars for their role of leading unarmed jathas during the Akali movement and the successive appointees assumed the same title.

Instead of individual rule or the jathedari system, Sikhism enjoins collective leadership of "Punj Piaras" based on Guru Nanak's maxim "Panch pervan, panch pradhan" the five blessed and approved persons from the presidium. Whilst Guru Gobind Singh brought out this concept openly at the point of sword in 1699, the earlier Gurus had also practised this innovation by choosing their own Punj Piaras from among their Sikhs.

The additional reason for opting Punj Piaras for collective leadership was that whilst an individual can be corrupted by wealth, power and vanity, a collective body of selected persons cannot be.

Guru Gobind Singh demonstrated the role of Punj Piaras in his life time. In the first instance he asked them to baptise him in the same manner to become a member of the Khalsa. In doing so, he elevated the Khalsa to the position of the Guru Panth and the Punj Piaras became their representatives. In the second instance, he obeyed their command to quit the Chamkaur-Di-Garhi against his will and thereafter he paid a fine imposed by them for bowing to Pir Dadu's grave. When Baba Banda Singh Bahadur was dispatched to Punjab to establish the rule of law there, Punj Piaras were detailed to accompany him as his advisers. This indicated that when it becomes necessary to appoint an individual to handle a task, he is to be guided by Punj Piaras selected by the Panth.

The concept of Guru Granth-Guru Panth and the above four events clearly shows that Guru Gobind Singh had indicated definite guidelines regarding the future leadership of the Sikhs. The 12 Misl Sardars successfully used the institution of Punj Piaras to co-ordinate their affairs and forge a common front against the Mughals. The Punj Piaras were selected under at Sarbat Khalsa meetings held twice a year in front of Akal Takht. This period of 1762 to 1799 is considered as the most glorious time of Sikh history.

Today the Sikhs are passing through a very critical phase. Their leadership is in disarray; there is a mushrooming growth of Akali parties under selfglorifying leaders and numerous "Sant Deras"; our institutions are not in the hands of competent, devoted and sincere persons; our religious centres like the Takhts and gurdwaras are not radiating the true Sikh spirit.These conflicts leave the common Sikh bewildered and sometimes leaning towards apostasy. The main cause for our slide from the high pedestal of Sikhism is our gross disregard to the doctrine of Guru Granth - Guru Panth. There is an urgent need to convene a meeting of Sikh scholars, theologians and representatives of major Sikh institutions, including the Sikh diaspora, to discuss the present Sikh situation to draw up a concrete plan to stem the tide. The foremost requirements are to make Akal Takht an independent authority free from any institutional control, abolish the jathedari system and implement the Punj Piara concept.

It is heartening to learn that the SGPC has decided (The Tribune, January 8, 2002) to set up "an international advisory council ........ to tone up the working of the highest temporal body of the Sikhs and to deal more effectively with Panthic matters." It is hoped that the above recommendations would receive top priority consideration by the advisory council.

http://www.sikhstudies.org/Periodicals.asp?TtlCod=1387

Link to comment
Share on other sites

very nice article... many of the things he mentions i have come across in my own readings... he does seem to have resentment towards kala afghana being excommunicated... & some of his views are similar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...