India - Need To Check Mushrooming Growth Of Gurdwaras: Akal Takht Jathedar | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
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India Need To Check Mushrooming Growth Of Gurdwaras: Akal Takht Jathedar


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
AMRITSAR: Perturbed over the mushrooming growth of gurdwaras abroad, which many a times causes embarrassment to the community, jathedar of Akal Takht has warned of stern religious action against persons constructing gurdwaras without the approval of Akal Takht.

"Majority of gurdwaras abroad have come out of personal rivalry, ego clashes or for making financial benefits which is a very unfortunate trend and must be stopped," Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh told TOI on Monday.

The Sikh clergy in its meeting held on April 18, 2002 had expressed grave concern over the trend of construction of new gurdwaras on the basis of caste and personal rivalry and had directed the Dharam Parchar Committee of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to take appropriate measures to check unnecessary construction of gurdwaras.

Giani Gurbachan Singh said that any person or a Sikh religious body willing to construct a new gurdwara should first inform Akal Takht which would give permission only after inspecting the site. "A team would inspect the site to see whether there is any other gurdwara close by or not, or if there is need for a new gurdwara at all. We have to ensure that the gurdwara is not being constructed for financial gains," said Gurbachan Singh.

He also deplored the practice of formation of trust for running gurdwaras. "It is not an ancestral business but a place of worship which is attached with the religious sentiments of Sikhs," he said. The jathedar informed that till date, they have not received any application seeking permission for construction of gurdwara from abroad. "We will discuss the issue in our next meeting of five Sikh high priests," he said.

Prof Balwant Singh of department of Guru Nanak Studies, Guru Nanak Dev University, said there couldn`t be a blanket ban on construction of new gurdwaras. "I am of the view that there is need to create awareness among people and they should decide themselves whether they want a new gurdwara, especially if there is already one existing nearby," he said.

Professor of Sikhism and editor-in-chief of Encyclopedia of Sikhism, Punjabi University, Patiala, Prof Jodh Singh felt that there should be a mechanism to check the mushrooming growth of gurdwaras, especially in other countries where some organizations construct gurdwaras as a business proposition.

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