Tribune News Service
Amritsar, March 14
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee’s (SGPC’s) advisory of ‘one village, one gurdwara’ has started giving results. Residents of Dhurkot village in Faridkot district have taken the lead by merging two gurdwaras into one.
Welcoming it, SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal today announced to extend monetary help and support to the gurdwara committee for its smooth functioning.
The Akal Takht has already endorsed the SGPC’s campaign to encourage the existence of a single centralised gurdwara in each village of Punjab with a view to eradicate the divide among the Sikh community due to community based gurdwaras.
The vacant gurdwara buildings could be utilised to establish religious study centres, libraries, ‘gurmat’, ‘path’ and gurbani learning centres. The SGPC will keep special budgetary provision for the purpose.
Expressing concern over the rising count of caste-based gurdwaras in villages, Longowal said, “The residents of Dhurkot have set an example for the others to follow. We have been receiving reports of similar moves being taken in villages located near Jagraon and Kotkapura,” he said.
Multiple gurdwaras were being raised in contrast to the Sikh philosophy of treating every human being equally irrespective of caste, colour or creed. Moreover, multiple gurdwaras often result in friction between the gurdwara committees.
“To discourage this, we appeal to residents to rise above party lines and shun caste-based gurdwaras,” said Longowal.
The SGPC has recently conducted a special programme to honour the panchayat of Chakkar village in Jagraon district having a population of 15,000 where only one historic gurdwara existed.
There are 12,900 villages in Punjab. Barring a few, most villages have 4-5 gurdwaras based on caste and sect.
SGPC’s additional secretary Diljit Singh Bedi said that under the ‘Dharam Parchar Lehar’ in every nook and corner of Punjab, a survey is under way to know about the status of gurdwaras, their conditions and management.
“When we are all set to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, it is vital to follow his teaching of non-discrimination among the masses. Those who shun the caste-based gurdwara culture will be honoured in the presence of Akal Takht Jathedar and SGPC president at special programmes,” he said.
At present, there are nearly 70 historic gurdwaras being run under Section 85 in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh which are controlled by the SGPC. Similarly, around 400 gurdwaras are there under Section 87 which are being partially controlled by the SGPC.
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