source: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/rising-casteism-in-sikh-society-matter-of-concern/545842/ ‘Rising casteism in Sikh society matter of concern’ Express News Service - Tuesday , Nov 24, 2009 Amritsar : Expressing concern over the decline in Sikh religion due to a number of ills that have cropped in, experts at the 24th annual seminar on ‘Guru Nanak and Origin of Gurdwara Institution’ organised by Guru Nanak Dev University here on Monday, said casteism was like plague for Sikh society. Over 50 scholars from various universities and colleges participated in the seminar. Dr Raghbir Singh, Dean, Academic Affairs, GNDU, and Dr Gursharanjit Singh, head of the Department of Guru Nanak Studies, spoke about the life and achievements of the first Sikh guru. Prof Rattan Singh Jaggi, delivering the keynote address, said these days people do not follow the ideology of Guru Nanak and his message in our practical life, which was the cause of decline of the religion. “Gurdwaras were the foundation of the Sikh religion, but we have forgotten the principle of equality. Now the downtrodden and people from so-called lower castes are being forced to build their separate gurdwaras. That is why they are attracted towards deras,” he said. He also called for reforms in gurdwara management. Prof Satinder Singh, former pro vice-chancellor of GNDU, Prof Shashi Bala, Dean, Faculty of Humanity and Religious Studies, and Prof Balkar Singh and Prof Jodh Singh also spoke on the topic.