The demand to allow baptized Sikh women to perform kirtan and seva inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple raised a controversy again at a seminar organized by the Global United Sikh Women Organization here today. When Dr Mohinder Kaur Gill, a Sikh scholar, wanted the inclusion of baptised women among Panj Piyare ( Five Beloved Ones), Jathedar, Akal Takht, Giani Gurbachan Singh chided her for raising such sensitive issues publicly. He, however, said such matters should have been taken up by the sub-committee of SGPC representatives, Akal Takht, Sikh intellectuals and baptised women. Rajinder Singh Mehta, member, executive committee, SGPC, at the function said women could not be allowed to participate in Panj Piyare or perform kirtan/seva due to a variety of reasons. He said the Almighty had differentiated man from woman at the time of birth, hence nobody should raise such a demand. Dr Mohinder Kaur, contradicting her own point, said the SGPC had given certain administrative reasons for disallowing women to clean the sanctum sanctorum or carry Guru Granth Sahib in a palanquin, but there was no valid reason to deny them a chance to perform kirtan. Bibi Jagir Kaur, after taking over as SGPC chief in 1999, had announced to treat baptised women on a par with men for discharging religious duties in the Golden Temple. Earlier, then acting Jathedar, Akal Takht, Prof Manjit Singh had taken a jatha of baptised women to perform seva in the sanctum sanctorum, along with wife of Harbhajan Singh Yogi. Later, notwithstanding her announcement on February 3, 2003, Bibi Kiranjot Kaur, a former general secretary, SGPC, could not arrange kirtan in the sanctum sanctorum. Gender discrimination in the Golden Temple was highlighted at the international level on February 15, 2003, when two England-based Sikh women were allegedly assaulted by SGPC sevadars during ‘sukhasan’ (carrying Guru Granth Sahib in palanquin) in the Golden Temple . Earlier, at the seminar Dr Upinderjit Kaur, education minister, said to preserve moral and ethical values in society, women should have to do introspection to awaken society ethically, morally and artistically by eradicating social evils. Women and organisations, including GND University, Punjabi University, SGPC, Kendri Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Chandigarh, and Naad Pargaas Sri Amritsar participated in the seminar. The minister congratulated Dr Jasbir Kaur, president, and said such seminars would help form an ideal society. What is members' opinion on this . Please share .