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Sikh clergy awards ‘tankhah’ to Majithia
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Takht’s word

  • Perform 'langar sewa' at all five takhts
  • Hold Akhand Path at Akal Takht
  • Wash utensils for three days.

Those who got ‘tankhah’ earlier

  • Former President Giani Zail Singh
  • Former Union Home Minister Buta Singh
  • Former Punjab CM Surjeet Singh Barnala
  • Budha Dal chief Baba Santa Singh
  • Nanaksar Kaleran (Ludhiana) chief Baba Ghala Singh
  • Former DSGMC chief Paramjit Singh Sarna

Amritsar, May 1
Following a six-hour marathon meeting to discuss his blasphemous speech row, the Sikh clergy today awarded ‘tankhah’ (religious punishment) to Punjab Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia.

He has been directed to perform ‘langar sewa’ in all the five takhts, besides holding an Akhand Path at Sri Akal Takht, washing utensils at the ‘langar’ facility and listening to ‘Gurbani’ for three days.

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh pronounced this decision from the balcony of the Akal Takht at 5 pm while Majithia stood outside with folded hands to listen to the directions from the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs.

In his pronouncement, the Jathedar said, “Majithia had distorted the pious ‘baani’ of Guru Gobind Singh during a public rally recently after which various Sikh organisations had expressed resentment while demanding that he be punished.

“Realising his mistake, he had submitted a letter of apology, saying he was ready to follow the directions of the Akal Takht, following which a meeting of the Sikh high priests took place in Amritsar today.”

The Jathedar then went on to declare the ‘tankhah’ against him. “The Sikh clergy directs you to perform ‘langar sewa’ (both monetary as well as manual) at Takht Sri Patna Sahib, Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib, Takht Sri Damdama Sahib, Takht Sri Hazur Sahib and Sri Akal Takht Sahib. “Following this, you would hold an Akhand Path at Sri Akal Takht Sahib and wash utensils in the ‘langar sewa’ as also listen to ‘Gurbani’ for three days.

“Finally, you have to make Rs 501 as offering and ‘karah parshad’ while performing ‘ardaas’ at Sri Akal Takht Sahib.” The Jathedar also clarified that this decision has been taken in the light of the resolution of the Sikh clergy dated November 19, 2003 and that all the takhts must acknowledge it.

His clarification apparently came in the light of the recent edict of Takht Sri Hazur Sahib in which Majithia was declared ‘tankhaiya’ in the matter and a day later, his apology was accepted.

According to the resolution, apart from the Akal Takht, the other four takhts could only deal with local religious, social and cultural issues. However, the issues concerning the entire community could only be deliberated upon by the Sikh high priests by holding a meeting at Sri Akal Takht. Talking to the mediapersons after being awarded ‘tankhah’, Majithia said, “I accept the ‘tankhah’ with all humility. I had committed a mistake which I realised and had appeared before the Akal Takht. I apologise to the entire Sikh Sangat today.”

On when he would serve his ‘tankhah’, the minister said though he has not been given any time limit, he would try to do so at the earliest. Majithia had reached the Golden Temple complex early in the morning. He performed prayers, listened to 'Gurbani' and also washed utensils at the 'langar' facility before he was called by the Sikh clergy to the meeting venue where he stayed for around three hours.

Meanwhile, Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh expressed satisfaction over the pronouncement of religious punishment to Majithia, saying at least the Akal Takht Jathedar has dared to act against a close relative of the “mighty Badals and his de-facto appointing authority”.





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