http://www.sikhsangat.org/publish/article_1225.shtml Eastern News Sikhs in India and West call for Abolition of SGPC supremacy By SSNews, Aug 1, 2006, 19:24 Sikh community leaders in America have passed a resolution to abolish the supremacy of the Amritsar-based Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC). They have also called for the formation of a separate Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) in Haryana and other places. Sikh leaders here said it was a must to give equal importance to other organisations, involved in the service of their faith. "During the last 50 years, we have observed that the SGPC is involved in politics rather than taking care of Gurudwaras. It should stop dominating other institutions. The demand of setting up a committee in Haryana has come up recently. A committee in the US has also been working for the religion. Sikh institutions at other places should also be given equal importance so that they can also serve the religion," said John Singh Gill, a Sikh youth leader. He said representatives of various Sikh organisations, including the DSGMC and the American Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee should be included for the upkeep of Sikh shrines across the world. Officials of American Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee have also expressed similar concerns and demanded representation in SGPC. "This is unjust. I think every institution should have representation in the SGPC. The present Chairman of the Akal Takht should be replaced with an elected person by the representatives of various Gurudwara Prabhandak Committees," said Dr. Pritpal Singh, Coordinator of American Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee. The SGPC is criticised for the dominant role of its political wing, the Shiromani Akali Dal, in its decision-making. The Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee is a Sikh religious organisation responsible for the upkeep of gurudwaras. It is also responsible for the Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar, which is the holiest site in Sikhism. The committee takes care of all the historical Gurudwaras in Punjab as well as in adjoining states. The SGPC has a chairman, treasurer and general secretary. The SGPC maintains all the physical, financial and religious aspects of Gurudwaras as well as keeping archeologically precious and sacred artefacts belonging to the Sikh Gurus, which include weapons, clothes, books and writings of the Sikh Gurus. The organisation's current Chief is Avtar Singh Makkar who has been criticised recently as the SGPC Tasforce has been involved in many incidents of violence against Panthic groups including their turbans being removed. Simranjit Singh Mann, Daljit Singh Bittu of Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar, Panthic groups have expressed their support for a Gurdwara Reform Movement. The All-India Shiromani Akali Dal has called for a second movement on the pattern of the earlier movement launched in twenties to liberate the Gurdwaras from the "grip of the corrupt junta". Addressing a press conference here today, the AISAD president, Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, and other leaders said, "the SGPC, having come into being by Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925, has lately been in the grip of corrupt junta, headed by Parkash Badal and his hand picked henchmen, who have totally destroyed the spiritual and divine status of sanctum sanctorum, have besieged the Darbar Sahib, Akal Takht and other Sikh Gurdwaras". He said second Gurdwara Reform Movement in the footsteps of the earlier launched in 1920 can alone liberate the Sikh gurdwaras form their "unholy clutches". He alleged that they have lowered the status of Akal Takht and other Takhts, made Jathedars mere opportunists of the SGPC shorn of any effective and functional authority. The Gurdwara Reform Movement would be launched after forming Panthic coordination committee in the coming days. It will seek revision and amendment of Sikh Gurdwara Act to remove these gaps. The AISAD leaders said the Shiromani Akali Dal headed by Badal has ceased to represent Sikhs as a political organization. It has already become a "Punjabi Party" echoing Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiat. It has drastically changed and subverted its constitution, brought amendments to completely change into an atheist secular outfit, with no policy, programme to protect rights of the Sikh people and have become a "band of corrupt, land mafia, liquor barons, rapists and social bandits", they said pointing out that the SAD has been registered under this changed constitution. The AISAD leaders said the Sikh youth, the downtrodden sections of the Dalits, deprived women would find top priority in the political schemata of the Shiromani Akali Dal, wedded to bring "Halemi Raj" covering all sections of society as ordained by Sikh Gurus, preached and practiced by the Sikh Gurus, sanctified by the sacrifice and Martyrdom in the Sikh History, preserved and protected by their heroic deeds and accomplishments. They alleged the present political stance of Badal and his coterie was totally against the basic principles and postulates of Sikh religion and therefore must be rejected. They said the Sikh diaspora all over the world has earned Sikhs their world wide international entity and need to be organized under one banner as enunciated by the Sikh Gurus. In presence of their progress and excellence in various fields, their achievements have to be acclaimed back home, as well as and to brace it into a well-knit entity They said the Sikhs are inheritors of India's Independence in 1947 and their high mark in defending and feeding India. The Sikhs issues are still unresolved. Discrimination, public policies and Government Laws are against the Sikhs and they are denied the earmarked entry into armed forces and Para military forces.