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India Controversies To The Fore


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Controversies to the fore
Perneet Singh/TNS

Amritsar, December 23

The SGPC and Akal Takht hogged the limelight in 2010 due to one or the other controversy be it the ex-communication of the former Jathedar of Akal Takht in January or a row over the Nanakshahi calendar.

The year began on a stormy note with Akal Takht ex-communicating Prof Darshan Singh, former Akal Takht Jathedar, from the Sikh Panth for his controversial Rochester gurdwara (USA) discourse. It was for the first time that a former Jathedar of Akal Takht had been ex-communicated.

Controversies continued to dog the Nanakshahi calendar in 2010 too. A row erupted over the observance of the martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur. Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh announced that the day be observed on December 10 instead of November 24 as the event fell within the two days of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev on November 21.

However, the DSGMC, led by Paramjit Singh Sarna, went ahead and observed the event in Delhi gurdwaras on November 24.

Even some of the SGPC gurdwaras did the same. Now, Akal Takht and the SGPC have urged the Sikhs to celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh on January 11 and not on January 5.

Akal Takht came face to face with another Jathedar this year - Patna Sahib Jathedar Giani Iqbal Singh - over the controversy that the latter had sparked off over the Raagmala issue. The Jathedar of Akal Takht barred him from attending a meeting of Sikh clergy till he gave his clarification on the matter in writing. Giani Iqbal Singh was conspicuous by his absence at the meeting of the Sikh high priests on December 15.

The year also witnessed confrontation between the SGPC and the HSGPC over the control of gurdwaras in neighbouring Haryana. HSGPC chief Jagdish Singh Jhinda had threatened to take over “sewa” in key gurdwaras while the SGPC said they were prepared to thwart any such bid. The showdown came to an end with the arrest of Jhinda and his supporters while they were staging a dharna near Gurdwara Chhevi Patshahi in Kurukshetra.

The last year of the decade gave a big jolt to the Sikhs as after generating a lot of enthusiasm among them US President Barack Obama skipped Amritsar from his itinerary during his maiden India visit.

The Sikh community, which was hoping that Obama’s visit would help it overcome problems it is facing due to mistaken identity and security barriers, was deeply disappointed. The SGPC and Akal Takht made it clear that Obama could cover his head with anything except a military hat.

In November, Avtar Singh was re-elected president of the SGPC for the sixth successive term. He was elected SGPC president for the first time in 2005 and is the second incumbent to occupy the top seat of the Sikh religious body for the maximum number of terms after the late Gurcharan Singh Tohra, who had remained its head for 27 terms.

As the year draws to close, the SGPC is busy fighting for the issue of Sikh identity in countries like France and America . Already facing a tough time in France, where wearing a turban has been banned in schools, Sikhs received another setback when India’ s envoy to UN Hardeep Puri had to undergo turban frisking by the authorities at a US airport. The SGPC not only announced to roll out a global Sikh identity campaign to make foreigners aware of the seperate identity of the Sikhs but also staged a dharna outside the US Embassy in New Delhi to lodge its protest over the issue.


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Admin note: Please know that I am not the author of this article. It is posted for discussion only. So if your reactions are positive or negative, direct them to the subject of the article so that the discussion will be issue-oriented.

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Shabad Vichaar by SPN'ers

The complete Shabd as composed by Guru Arjun ji and recorded on page 392 of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) is as follows:

ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥ Asa Mehla 5 (SGGS Page 392)

ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਕਰਿ...

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