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SGPC Voter Forms Have Caste Column

Jan 7, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
SGPC voter forms have caste column

IP Singh, TNN, Jun 13, 2010, 06.58am IST

<!-- google_ad_section_start -->JALANDHAR: A few days after SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar exhorted Sikhs not to mention their caste during the census as the same was against Sikh ideology, it has come to light that voter forms published for SGPC elections have a column for specifying whether a person belongs to any scheduled caste.

Meanwhile, conditions prescribed in the forms for voters are being termed incomplete by Sikh leaders, who are holding that some crucial lacunae have been left out, which could be exploited by vested interests who do not completely follow the definition of a “Sikh” as mentioned in Sikh Rehat Maryada.

The voter form published by the Gurdwara Election Commission says at the end that a voter from scheduled castes should specifically mention whether he is an SC as prescribed by Article 341 of the Constitution.

“This is against Sikh principles and is not required at all,” said Manjit Singh Calcutta, former secretary general of SGPC, who has written to chief commissioner, gurdwara elections, seeking clarifications on these issues. “Any enumeration on the basis of caste is taboo in the Sikh panth. The rights of the weaker and backward sections of society are completely protected in the Sikh Gurdwara Act by provision of reserved seats. Any enumeration of votes on the basis of Manu’s caste system is anathema in the Sikh religion,” he said, demanding withdrawal of voter forms that were violative of Sikh ideology.

He also pointed out there was no provision for an affidavit that the information furnished by the voter was true and signature and stamp of the officer accepting the forms was also missing. “Without an affidavit, how can any voter giving wrong information be prosecuted as stated by chief commissioner Gurdwara elections?” he questioned.

He held that while according to clauses 9 and 10 of Section 2 of Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925, a Sikh is one who faithfully believes in one immortal God, 10 gurus from Guru Nanak Dev to Guru Gobind Singh, Guru Granth Sahib and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion or to any personal Guru, the grave error is omission of a qualifying condition in the form.

May 24, 2008
A very shameful error ( if it really is ) . Guru Nanak & Sikh Gurus sought a casteless society where each & everyone is equal , if any CASTE IDENTIFICATION exercise is done , this will defeat the very baisis of the advent of Sikhism in the first place . Each & every Sikh is required to add SINGH / KAUR to their names so as to place them equally as well develop a sense of brotherhood among them . If we keep tagging CASTE / SURNAME to identify ourselves as someone superior or inferior , then we are going beyond the Principle of EK PITA EKAS KE HUM BARIK propagated by Guru Nanak Dev Ji as well as identifying ourselves with something other than Sikhi & which has been prohibted by Dasham Pita Ji .

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