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Akal Takht rules against "SEWA" by women !

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Akal Takht restrains SGPC on women kirtan sewa issue

Amritsar | September 27, 2005 9:49:05 PM IST

The Akal Takht, the highest

religious seat of the Sikhs today restrained the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) from going ahead with its proposal to permit Sikh baptised women devotees from performing 'kirtan'(reciting of religious hymns) in the Harmandir Sahib, the sanctoum sanctorum of the Golden Temple and other historical shrines.

The order of the Akal Takht has also stayed the SGPC proposal of allowing women devotees from performing 'palki sahib sewa' (palanquin) in the Golden Temple complex. The directions also stayed another proposal of allowing women baptised devotees from participating in the 'amrit sanchar' (practise of baptism) ceremony.

This decision was taken at a meeting of the Sikh High Priests held at the Akal Takht here. The meeting was presided over by Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti. Takht Keshgarh Sahib Jathedar, Tirlochan Singh, Takht Damdama Sahib Jathedar Balwant Singh, Head Granthi of Hazoor Sahib and Head Granthi of Patna Sahib, were also present in the meeting

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Panel to discuss issue of kirtan by women

Varinder Walia

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 27

The issue pertaining to allowing baptised Sikh women to perform kirtan and seva in the sanctum sanctorum of Harmander Sahib and ensuring their participation in ‘amrit sanchar’ is unlikely to be resolved, in the near future as the Sikh clergy today constituted a 13-member committee to submit a detailed report after consulting various Sikh organisations.

Interestingly, no deadline has been fixed to submit the report which has given broad indications that the matter is likely to linger on. In yet another significant development, the Sikh high priests have made Baba Ram Singh, chief of breakaway jatha of Damdami Taksal, a member the 13-member committee, totally ignoring the Taksal, headed by Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma which is spearheading the campaign against the SGPC and Akal Takht on the issue.

Significantly, the Sikh high priests directed the Sikh Sangat not to rake up the issue pertaining to allowing Sikh women to perform seva till the final decisions. The 13-member committee is headed by Mr Gurpal Singh Gora, senior vice-president, SGPC. The other members of the committee included Baba Daya Singh, Baba Sewa Singh (Rampur Khera), Baba Sewa Singh (Khadoor Sahib), Bibi Inderjit Kaur, chief of Pingalwara, Dr Balwant Singh Dhillon of GND University, Sant Ghala Singh, Mr Tarsem Singh, Chairman Dharm Parchar Committee, DSGMC, Mr Satnam Singh Chandigarh and Mahant Tirath Singh.

The issue of allowing women to perform kirtan / seva etc has already created a division in the Sikh Panth. While the SGPC had already passed a resolution to end gender discrimination, the case was referred to Sikh clergy for final approval.

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