DC Sikhs Ask Akal Takht To Reconsider Excommunication Of Professor Darshan Singh (D - Roguery In Roc


1947-2014 (Archived)
Professor Darshan Singh: DC Sikhs ask Akal Takhat to reconsider his excommunication

By Anju Kaur

Part D of a 4-part series Entitled The Strategy


BACKSTORY: Roguery in Rochester

Darshan Singh was invited by the Rochester gurdwara for kirtan and kathaa on Aug. 23, 2009. There he focused on a section of Dasam Granth called, Chritro Pakhiyaan, a collection of pornographic tales that he said were written in a way that indirectly refer to Guru Gobind Singh as the repulsive “raja of Anandpur” character in the stories.

A complaint was sent to the Akal Takhat that Darshan Singh was disrespecting the Guru.

“The Akal Takhat is the Throne of Truth, no person should be brought before it on any false charges,” said Manmohan Singh, then secretary general of the World Sikh Council – America Region.

The council represents 44 gurdwaras and seven institutions in the US, and is formed under the auspices of the Akal Takht.

In its independent investigation, the council concluded: “Gurcharanjit Singh Lamba's editing is the real issue in this case.” The television show host on Jus Punjabi took the original recording made by Makhan Singh and edited it to the point that Darshan Singh’s kathaa was taken out of context. He then deleted the original video and refused to return the CD, Manmohan Singh told SikhNN at that time. He had to be coerced to give it back to a very “frustrated” Makhan Singh. When they recovered the original video and studied both versions, “Lamba’s version had some parts missing.”

Gurcharanjit Singh’s actions raised the ire of many other Sikhs, including the Rochester sangat.

According to The Sikh Bulletin, in the preface to his book, ‘Dasam Granth-di-Asleeyat, published in August 2009, Dalbir Singh narrates an incident on October 2, 2007, at Rajouri Garden, New Delhi, in which Gurcharanjit Singh stated that he acquired Gurmat gian not from Guru Granth Sahib but from the Dasam Granth.

The Sikh Bulletin referred to Gurcharanjit Singh as “the now champion of promoting the false Dasam Granth.”

In November 2009, SikhNN asked Gurcharanjit Singh why the Dasam Granth is worshiped alongside Guru Granth Sahib at takhats belonging to Guru Gobind Singh, such as Hazoor Sahib. He acknowledged that Guru Gobind Singh canonized the Guru Granth Sahib as the only eternal Guru, excluded any of his own writings, and prohibited worshiping any other scriptures. But he defended the practice of worshiping Dasam Granth and explained that it developed from “local tradition,” out of reverence for Guru Gobind Singh.

As for the erotic tales in Dasam Granth, Gurcharanjit Singh told SikhNN that its detractors just do not understand the difficult language in the granth.

The video was seen on Jus Punjabi. Penny Yogiraj Sandhu, head of Jus Punjabi, confirmed to SikhNN that she had aired Gurcharanjit Singh’s version of the video. The video also was sent to the Akal Takhat.

“During the kirtan at the gurdwara sahib, Rochester, New York, your reprehensible comments about Dashmesh Pita Guru Gobind Singh have hurt the feelings of the Sikh sangat around the world,” the jathedar wrote in a Nov. 17, 2009, letter to Darshan Singh. “In this regard the Sikh Sangat around the world sent telephone and written messages, and sent CDs, and demanded action against you.”

In Jus Punjabi programs, Gurcharanjit Singh grilled Darshan Singh with leading questions.

The jathedar summoned him to come to the Akal Takhat in person on Dec. 5, 2009, to explain his comments. He also banned all Sikh gurdwaras and institutions from inviting him on stage for kirtan or kathaa.

“There was huge gathering outside Akal Takhat,” wrote Bikramjit Singh. He was in constant touch with his friends who were with Darshan Singh when he went to the Akal Takhat, he told SikhNN.

The crowd was divided into two groups, Guru Granth Sahib followers and Dasam Granth followers, which he refers to as “Bachitar Natak Granth” followers. The Bachitar Natak followers consisted of groups of Nihangs, Damdami Taksal and Sant-Samaj, he wrote.

Darshan Singh said he would not go into a private room even though he was pressured from his own circles. He would clarify his stance only at the Akal Takhat, and only in front of whole sangat, Bikramjit Singh wrote. After a nearly two-hour standoff, Darshan Singh submitted his written clarification at the Guru Granth Sahib Hajoori in the Akal Takhat complex, and left.

“The five Singh sahibaan were present at the Akal Takhat Sahib at the appointed time and waited but the defendant Professor Darshan Singh, because of his ego, pride and selfishness, did not present himself to the awaiting five Singh sahibaan,” the jathedars wrote in their Dec. 5, 2009, decree. “Because of this, the critic of the Guru, Professor Darshan Singh raagee is declared Tankhaayaa (apostate) by the Akal Takhat.”

The jathedars again banned all gurdwaras from inviting him, and ordered him to appear before them by Jan. 7, 2010, or a “strong action will be taken against him according to religious traditions.”

The American council took issue with the jathedar’s proceedings.

“Prior to bringing Professor Darshan Singh ji before Siri Akal Takhat Sahib, the case of his alleged wrongful keertan at gurdwara sahib in Rochester, New York, should have been thoroughly investigated based upon truthful evidence, rather than the flawed evidence of a distorted and misleading version of Professor Singh’s keertan televised by a TV host, by S. Gurcharanjit Singh Lamba, on Jus Punjabi Channel of New York, USA, that was used to build up the present case,” he said in a Jan. 4, 2010 news release.

Kirpal Singh, a member of the council’s executive committee, went in late December to meet with Gurbachan Singh. Armed with the original video and testimonials from members of the Rochester sangat and parbandhak, to prove his innocence.

“All we are asking is that they review the facts,” Manmohan Singh said. The tankhaayaa over the venue was just a side issue, he added. The council has recommended an open discourse for the next meeting.

“The two parties should meet in a good venue, with public media, and finish the issue,” Surinderpal Singh, the council’s chairman, told SikhNN back then. “Behind closed doors truth can’t be understood.”

“Furthermore, we submit that in case the jathedar sahiban chose to proceed with their current plans of declaring any tankhaa or excommunicating of Professor Darshan Singh on Jan 7, 2010, then it will result in a very serious division in the entire Khalsa Panth; that will cause an irreparable damage to the Sikh movement,” the news release said. “Such a disaster must be avoided.”

The jathedars moved the deadline to Jan. 29, 2010, but did not move the venue.

On Jan. 7, 2010, Darshan Singh wrote a letter addressed to “Master of the True Akal takhat Sahib, Suchaa Paathishaahu:

“…This slave appeared before Your Takhat (throne). But after going there I realized that the tankhaayaa people who decry Your Takhat and do not even accept this Takhat as the Akaal Takhat have created their own separate Akal Takhat and are misusing the name of Akal Takhat to please their political masters… and said naked white lies that “we waited at the Akal Takhat but Darshan Singh did not come.

“O Suchay Paathishaahu, the edict of strength I received from You is that never be a slave of falsehood. Therefore, I do not accept their letter, which is based on lies.”

He again refused to meet the jathedars at the secretariat.

“Due to personal ego and selfishness and pride, he failed to appear before the five Singh sahibaan in Akal Takhat Sahib and became culpable before Guru Granth and Guru Panth,” the hukamnama says.

“After lengthy deliberation on all these situations, the five Singh Sahibaan have accused Darshan Singh raagee of being slanderer of the Gurus and a rebel of the Sikh Panth. Because of being deprived of the honor of being in the Sikh Panth and being an outsider he is stripped of the rights and privileges of being a Sikh.”

They again reminded the Sikh sangat to not call him on stage.

All four parts at these links:

DC Sikhs Ask Akal Takht to Reconsider Excommunication of Professor Darshan Singh (A - The Strategy)
DC Sikhs Ask Akal Takht to Reconsider Excommunication of Professor Darshan Singh (B - Strategy & Authority)
DC Sikhs Ask Akal Takht to Reconsider Excommunication of Professor Darshan Singh (C - Sarbat Khasla & Gurmatas)
DC Sikhs Ask Akal Takht to Reconsider Excommunication of Professor Darshan Singh (D - Roguery in Rochester)