http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20050824/punjab1.htm#3 SGPC move on women as Panj Piaras draws flak Varinder Walia Tribune News Service Amritsar, August 23 Move of the SGPC to involve baptised Sikh women in the Panj Piaras (five beloved ones) and at the time of administering ‘amrit’ has evoked a strong protest from the Sant Samaj, the Damdami Taksal, and former Sikh high priests. Bhai Ranjit Singh, a former Jathedar of Akal Takht, the Damdami Taksal and the Sant Samaj have convened an emergency meeting at Ludhiana on September 1. Bhai Ranjit Singh said that the Panthic organisations would physically remove Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti as Jathedar, Akal Takht if he would toe line of the SGPC and Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President, Shiromani Akali Dal. However, Bibi Jagir Kaur reiterated that as per Panth-approved ‘rehat maryada’ (religious code of conduct), baptised women were allowed to become one of the Panj Piaras. She said the ‘rehat maryada’ had also allowed baptised Sikh women to participate in the ceremony of administering ‘amrit’. Expressing shock over the move of the section of Sikh Panth, she said that it was unfortunate that such religious leaders themselves opposing the ‘maryada’, approved by the Khalsa Panth. However, Bhai Ranjit Singh said that decision to allow Sikh women to perform ‘kirtan’ from the sanctum sanctorum of Harmandar Sahib should be taken only after taking entire Sikh Panth into confidence. Endorsing the views of Bhai Ranjit Singh, Giani Bhagwan Singh, a former head priest of Akal Takht said that there was no tradition of women performing Kirtan from Harmandar Sahib. Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma, Jathedar, Damdami Taksal criticised SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur for her statement that women would be included as Panj Piaras.