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Akal Takht invites excommunicated Sikhs to rejoin Sikh fold


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http://www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20060722/punjab1.htm

Akal Takht invites excommunicated Sikhs to rejoin Sikh fold

Varinder Walia

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 21

In an unprecedented ‘Gurmata’ (literally Guru’s intention), passed unanimously in presence of Guru Granth Sahib, today gave choice to all excommunicated persons to rejoin the Sikh fold by January 13, 2007 without undergoing any ‘Tankhah’ (punishment) on the pre-condition that they accept the authority of Akal Takht, ‘Granth and Panth’.

Jathedar Akal Takht, Joginder Singh Vedanti, who read the ‘Gurmata’ from the rostrum of the Takht, here, said that those who had gone astray ‘intentionally or un-intentionally’ from the Sikh fold could themselves avail the special exemption given to them to mark quadricentennial century of ‘Miri Piri’ (foundation of Akal Takht) .

Later talking to The Tribune, Jathedar Vedanti said that the ‘Gurmatta’ was meant for all including Nirankaris, who were excommunicated after the Sikh-Nirankari clash on April 13, 1978. The Gurmatta was pronounced to mark the ‘Miri-Piri Divas’, which was postponed for today after clash on July 2.

The Sikh scholars feel that this was for the first time in the 400 years of the foundation of Akal Takht that any excommunicated Sikh was given an opportunity to re-join the Sikh fold without undergoing any atonement. ‘Ramraias , Minas , Dheermalias etc had been excommunicated from the Sikh Panth since the Guru’s period.

The important personalities, who were excommunicated in recently included Joginder Singh, a editor of daily Spokesman, Canada-based Mr Gurbax Singh Kalaafghana and certain foreign-based Sikhs who were punished for violating the ‘Hukmnama’ (edict) on Langar issue.

Meanwhile, Jathedar, Akal Takht has imposed a ban on any type of sloganeering, especially ‘Zindabad-Murdabad’ in any gurdwara premises of the world.

The Sikh clergy has also banned press conferences in gurdwara premises. However, Bhai Mohkam Singh, a spokesman of the Damdami Taksal said that Jathedar, Akal Takht must direct the SGPC to provide suitable place for the press conferences for rival Panthic factions since the Badal faction had already been using the Shiromani Committee’s offices.

In another significant pronouncement, Jathedar Akal Takht said that ‘both Jehangir and Dewan Chandu’ were responsible for the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev. This pronouncement from Akal Takht has come as great setback to the Shiromani Akal Dal, led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal since Ms Sushma Swaraj, a senior BJP leader had given a clean chit to Dewan Chandu from the Akali Dal’s stage. On this, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, President Delhi Akali Dal (New Delhi) has appreciated Jathedar Vedanti for his ‘bold statement’.

However, the ‘Pashtap Divas’ passed off peacefully though senior leaders of the Badal faction, including Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and his party MLAs/MPs, Brig K.S.Kahlon and other factions, including Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, Mr Daljit Singh Bittu, Mr Kanwarpal Singh, Mr Satnam Singh Paunta Sahib and a large number of SGPC members were present on the occasion. The Task Force of the SGPC was on high alert for any eventuality. Jathedar Akal Takht, was the only person to address the Sikh Sangat.

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