‘Raagmala’ row takes a new turn
Amritsar, October 31
The controversy surrounding the edict issued by Takht Patna Sahib Jathedar Iqbal Singh regarding the recital of "raagmala" after the completion of akhand path or sehaj path today took a new turn with Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh making it clear that the former would be allowed at the next meeting of the Sikh high priests only after he issued a clarification on the issue.
On August 19, Jathedar Iqbal Singh in the presence of Panj Piaras at Patna Sahib had issued an edict in the name of Sikh sangat stating that those completing akhand path or sehaj path without reciting "raagmala" would be committing sacrilege. He had stated that when Guru Granth Sahib could not be published without "raagmala" then nobody had the right to complete the path without reciting it.
The edict issued by Jathedar Iqbal Singh had evoked sharp reactions from Sikh organisations, including both factions of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha.
Talking to mediapersons here on Saturday, Giani Gurbachan Singh said they had sought clarification from Jathedar Iqbal Singh over the issue. However, they were yet to receive any response from him. He said they would first discuss the issue at the meeting of the Sikh high priests after receiving the clarification from him, only after which he would be allowed to participate at the meeting. He said the meeting of Sikh high priests would take place after the Divali.
On the other hand, Jathedar Iqbal Singh said he was yet to receive any letter seeking his clarification on the issue adding that he would respond to it whenever he got it. Jathedar Iqbal Singh, however, said he had a verbal communication with Giani Gurbachan Singh over the issue and he had made everything clear to him. On the issue of jurisdiction, he said Takht Patna Sahib had the edict of Guru Hargobind as per which the Jathedar of the Takht was given rights to issue an edict.
As per Sikh "rehat maryada" (code of conduct) issued by the SGPC, it is clearly written under Article XI on page no. 18 that the reading of whole Guru Granth Sahib (intermittent or non-stop) may be concluded with the reading of the "mundawani" or the "raagmala" according to the convention traditionally observed at the place concerned.
It would appear that the way SGPC, AKAL TAKHT & SAD gutted the 'Nanakshahi' calendar, without due consultations with the Sikh Panth, the same fate awaits the Sikh Reht Maryada published in 1945 in order to appease Harnam Singh Duma & RSS!
Harbhajan S. Sangha