Saturday, May 24, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Giani Iqbal Singh sticks to stand 
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 23
The Jathedar of Takht Patna Sahib, Giani Iqbal Singh, has said that the hukamnama (edict), declaring Mr Mohinder Singh Romana, president of the management committee, as tankhaiya (guilty of religious misconduct) would not be withdrawn as he was competent to pronounce the same as per maryada (Sikh tradition).

Talking to TNS on the telephone, Giani Iqbal Singh alleged Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti had used derogatory language against him when he (Giani Iqbal Singh) talked to him on the telephone after declaring Mr Romana tankhaiya.

When pointed out that he had not adopted proper procedure before initiating action against Mr Romana, he said it was not required when he (Mr Romana) had used derogatory language against him in the presence of the Jathedar, Akal Takht, and other high priests at Chicago on April 27. “I had to cut short my visit and refused to accompany Jathedar Vedanti for the rest of the programmes in the USA and preferred to return to India”, he said.

Giani Iqbal Singh alleged that it was shocking that instead of taking action against Mr Romana, Jathedar Vedanti questioned the edict issued from Patna Sahib. He said though it was for the first time that any hukamnama had been issued from Takht Patna Sahib, yet a number of such edicts had been issued from Takht Hazoor Sahib. He said Giani Kulwant Singh, Jathedar, Hazoor Sahib, had endorsed the directive of Takht Patna Sahib declaring Mr Romana as tankhaiya. Giving examples, Giani Iqbal Singh said Takht Hazoor Sahib had also declared the president of the management as tankhaiya. He said Mata Sahib Kaur (considered to be mother of Khalsa Panth), who took over the command of the Panth after Guru Gobind Singh, too, had issued five edicts from Delhi. Taking exception to ignoring jathedars of Patna Sahib and Hazoor Sahib while calling meetings of the Sikh clergy at Akal Takht, Giani Iqbal Singh said as per ‘panch pardhani maryada’ jathedars of all five Takhts or their representatives had to be invited. He said Jathedar Vedanti had once invited him to attend a meeting of the Sikh clergy at Akal Takht, which was later cancelled for reasons best known to him. He said he had complained to the SGPC chief, Mr Kirpal Singh Bandungar, for this ‘unbecoming’ behaviour of the (Jathedar) Akal Takht.

He said as per maryada, the Jathedar, Hazoor Sahib, could not leave his station, but could sent his representative to attend the meetings like Giani Puran Singh, Head Granthi, Golden Temple, who refused to attend the meetings of the Sikh clergy. He said while he and the Jathedar, Hazoor Sahib, were ready to cooperative with the Jathedar, Akal Takht, Jathedar Vedanti wanted to ‘impose’ the decisions on other Takhts. He warned that if the Sikh high priests took any ex parte decision at its meeting at Akal Takht tomorrow against him it would not be accepted. He said decisions concerning the entire Sikh Path had to be taken unanimously by all jathedars, including the high priests of Takht Patna Sahib and Takht Hazoor Sahib.

He said it was a matter of great concern that the Sikh clergy did not take either the Sikh sangat or jathedars of Patna Sahib and Hazoor Sahib into confidence before giving a final nod to the Nanakshahi calender. He said both Takhts had already rejected the Nanakshahi calendar and were contemplating to issue their own ‘jantris’ soon.

Similarly, the controversy over Dasam Granth raked up by Mr Romana at Chicago was uncalled for. The ‘katha’ of Dasam Granth Sahib was being performed every day at both Takhts and hence the Sikh sangat from Patna Sahib could not tolerate the utterances of Mr Romana.

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