Badal makes himself chairman of All India Gurdwara Act Panel Written by WSN Bureau Friday, August 03, 2007 WSN Network CHANDIGARH: Secular Akali Dal's president and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has made himself the Chairman of the committee which will make recommendations in the draft of the All-India Sikh Gurdwaras Bill-1999. As per orders issued by the Governor of Punjab, the other members of the committee will be Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, Kharak Singh, Jodh Singh, Jaspal Singh, Balwant Singh Dhillon, Jasbir Singh Sabar, Wariam Singh, and Sukhdev Singh Bhaur. President of the SGPC, legal rememberancer, advocate-general will also be its members. Chief Secretary will be a member secretary of the committee. With this, the solely religious issue now becomes part of the governmental thinking framework, and the danger is all the more because the last time the issue had come to the fore when SGPC presidentship was with Bibi Jagir Kaur and Shiv Basant was joint secretary in the Union Home Ministry, a number of objections had been raised. The entire All-India Sikh Gurdwaras Bill-1999 is so full of holes that any attempt to plug a few holes and turn it into a statute will be a mockery of the Sikh sensitivities. Some of those currently in the committee were also among the critics of the earlier draft, and some were also proactive during the formulation of the Dalam Committee report which never saw the light of the day. The All-India Sikh Gurdwaras Bill-1999 is meant to replace and enlarge the scope of the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925 and the SGPC will lose its existence under the new bill. The bill has problems right from the definition of the Sikh, the way the Central Board is envisaged, the issue of powers of the Central Board and its relations with regional boards, the powers of the regional boards to merge with each other and the relationship with the government. The WSN will soon bring to the fore detailed discussion of the draft bill 1999.