A special meeting of the Singh Sahibans took place as scheduled on June 6th at Sri Akal Takht Sahib. The conclave was called by Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti and SGPC President Avtar Makkar, and had several crucial pending topics on its agenda. A meeting between the Sikh Jathedars had been long overdue after Jathedar Vedanti returned from his lengthy overseas parchar tour.
According to the press release by the Akal Takht Sahib secretariat, several important gumattas were reportedly passed in the meeting.
Most notably, Sri Akal Takht Sahib re-iterated its stand on the validity of Sri Dasam Granth and warned the scripture’s detractors to cease and desist from their mischievous parchar.
Some of the Gurmattas include:
· Pronouncement of the Supremacy of Sri Akal Takht Sahib over the other four Takhts.
· Sri Dasam Granth being an inseparable Scripture of the Sikh Panth
· Sikh Sangat asked not to criticize Sri Dasam Granth and its contents.
· Ragi Darshan Singh, Sikh institutions and organizations warned not to utilize Panthic stages for Anti-Sikh Parchar.
Giani Iqbal Singh banned
Giani Iqbal Singh, Jathedar Takhat Sri Patna Sahib, surprisingly, was not allowed to attend the scheduled meeting by the Akal Takht Sahib Management and SGPC task force, meanwhile ex-Jathedar Kewal Singh of Takht Sri Damdama Sahib was allowed in and out of the complex without restrictions.
There were several tense moments with heated verbal exchanges between Giani Iqbal Singh and the task force employee who ridiculed Giani Iqbal Singh over the charges of bigamy that are shadowing him. Giani Iqbal Singh reportedly left in disgust after realizing his presence would not be entertained by Vedanti and other attendees.
Last week, while announcing the meeting jointly with SGPC President Avtar Makkar, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti told members of the press that amongst several important issues, the ‘issue’ of Sri Dasam Granth was to be the key aspect of the meeting. In addition, while invalidating Giani Iqbal Singh’s right to excommunicate other Sikhs, Jathedar Vedanti upheld that the controversies related to of Prof. Darshan Singh were also to be discussed at the meeting.
Jathedar Vedanti termed the revised controversy on Dasam Granth Sahib as very unfortunate. He had previously asked all Panthic groups to remain away from indulging in any controversial issues during the 300th anniversary of Guru Granth Sahib Ji’s Guruship, but this mandate passed by Akal Takhat Sahib was completely rejected by mischievous persons to divert the Khalsa Panth's attention.
During another meeting at Fatehgarh Sahib, Makkar announced that a committee of Sikh Scholars has been established which will further work to raise awareness of Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Granth within Sikh circles—especially amongst those that deny it’s authenticity. When asked about Jathedar Vedanti’s stand on Khalistan, Avtar Makkar said that this issue was not discussed in the meeting. According to Makkar, the meeting was called at Fatehgarh Sahib to discuss the issue of Prof. Davinderpal Singh Bhullar and Bibi Parveen Kaur who have been wrongfully arrested by the police.
Don't Misuse Stages for creating Controversy : Ex-SGPC Member
In an exclusive interview with Panthic Weekly, the former chief secretary of SGPC, who was once a close confident of Akali stalwart Gurcharan Singh Tohra, denounced the use of Gurdwara stages for controversial subjects and issues.
He stated that when Ragi Darshan Singh was the Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib, he had never raised any issues against the Granth, but now seems to be doing so needlessly. He reiterated that the Ragi himself used to recite Dasam Bani on his (commercial) cassettes and was even promoting the yatra to Hemkunt Sahib, the Himalayan site mentioned in Sri Dasam Granth where Guru Gobind Singh Ji meditated in his previous life.
Sardar Manjit Singh reiterated that the negative attacks on Sri Dasam Granth needed to stop along with others issues that were creating division within the Panth, and stressed he has always tried to persuade those who were falling into this trap. Such issues are to be solved by Panthic representation at Sri Akal Takht Sahib and not on our local stages.
The slogan of “Khalistan and Bhindranwale zindabad’ were raised in front of Akal Takht by SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann to mark the 24th anniversary of Operation Bluestar here today even as Ghallughara Divas passed off peacefully. Though the SGPC had deployed its task force to deal with any untoward incident, some youths were seen attending the function with firearms.
However, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar of the Takht, in his message delivered from the Takht, urged the Sikhs to beware of those forces who planned to challenge the age-old Sikh institutions for ulterior motives. The Jathedar honoured kin of many slain militant leaders, including Sant Bhindranwale, Major-Gen Shabeg Singh and Bhai Amrik Singh at the Takht.
Jathedar Vedanti asked the Sikhs to come on a single platform in a real tribute to all those who had made supreme sacrifice during Operation Bluestar.
Giani Iqbal Singh, Jathedar of Patna Sahib, was also sitting at Akal Takht when Jathedar Vedanti criticised those who had been challenging the age-old Sikh institutions.
After the ardas at the Takht, the SAD (A) president criticised the ruling Akali Dal for continuing alliance with the BJP despite the fact that L.K. Advani, former Deputy Prime Minister, had confessed in his autobiography that the BJP had provoked the Central government for ordering Operation Bluestar. He said Advani had also used derogatory remarks against Sant Bhindranwale in the book.
The All-India Sikh Students Federation, led by Karnail Singh Pirmohammad, oranised a “Khalsa Insaaf March” to mark the anniversary of the operation.
The Akal Purkh Ki Fauj, headed by SGPC member Jaswinder Singh Advocate, organised a blood camp outside the Golden Temple complex to pay tributes to those Sikhs who were killed in the operation.
Meanwhile, Dal Khalsa activists assembled outside the main entrance of Darbar Sahib and pledged to carry on with the struggle for “Khalsa Raj” in a democratic manner.
The Khalsa march was organised by the All-India Sikh Students federation, Damdami Taksal, Sikhs for Justice and Riots Victims Society from Gurdwara Shaheed Baba Deep Singh.
Wadhbhag sect plea accepted
In a bid to bring the sect promoted by Baba Wadhbhag Singh to the mainstream of the Sikh religion, Akal Takht today accepted the plea of Bhai Swarnjit Singh, vice-president of the Singh Managing Sewa Committee, Tap Asthan Gurdwara Manji Sahib, Himachal Pradesh. He submitted himself at the Takht and accepted that he would abide by the tenets of Guru Granth Sahib.
The resolution adopted by the Takht pointed out that Baba Wadhbhag Singh had been involved in some controversial literature and now Bhai Swarnjit Singh had come forward to literally wipe out the old controversies and return to the panthic fold.