Controversial - Akal Takht Summons Head Of US Gurdwara Committee | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
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Controversial Akal Takht Summons Head Of US Gurdwara Committee


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Akal Takht Summons Head of US Gurdwara Committee

The Akal Takht has taken a serious view of the role of the management committee of a gurdwara based in the US city of Rochester in getting a ban imposed by a judicial court on wearing of 'kirpan' in the premises of the shrine. The Sikh high priests have issued an order directing Santokh

Singh Badesha, head of the management committee of the Rochester-based gurdwara, to appear before the Akal Takht in person within a month.
This decision was taken at a meeting of the high priests here on Monday. The meeting was presided over by Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh.

Announcing the decision before the media, Giani Gurbachan said that in case Badesha fails to appear in the stipulated time frame to explain his role and that of the management committee in this court order, the Akal Takht will have no other option but to proceed against him "as per Sikh traditions".

This implies that if Badesha fails to appear, he could be excommunicated from the Sikh community.

As per reports reaching the clergy, a court in Rochester had issued a ban on the wearing and carrying of 'kirpans' by devotees inside the gurdwara there. The order was issued after some persons approached the court to plead that carrying of 'kirpans' inside the shrine could lead to a law and order problem. The 'kirpan' is one of the five symbols that baptised Sikhs must wear at all times.

Giani Gurbachan said Badesha had been directed to bring with him the orders of the court as well as all other records pertaining to the case. He has also been asked to bring the statements and affidavits that may have been submitted in the court by him or any other person in the management committee of the shrine.


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004

AMRITSAR: In a major decision today the Sikh Clergy that met at Sikhs’ highest temporal seat, Akal Takht here today ordered to summon Santokh Singh Badesha, the main trustee of US based Gurdwara at Rochester for 'explanation’ over 'Kirpan issue’.

The Sikh high priests said that Badesh will have to present himself before the clergy in the next meeting, later next month and explain his position over banning Kirpan in US Gurdwara, failing which necessary action will be taken.

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said they have received numerous complaints from US relating the controversy and they were pained to know that the Kirpan, the basic symbol of the Sikhism has been banned in the Gurdwara complex by the Gurdwara management. "He must come and explain his position or face action’’, said Jathedar.

Asked that the decision followed the Court’s verdict, he said the Gurdwara management may not have represented the case properly as Kirpan is the basic tenet of the Sikhism and any baptized Sikh wearing it can not be banned from entering Gurdwara. “In a Gurdwara no restriction of any kind on any of the Kakars (Kirpan, Kanga, Kesh, Kachh or Karra) gifted by Guru Sahib, can be imposed by anyone’’, said Jathedar.

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