Amritsar, June 9
A row between ‘dhadis’ (balladeers) and the SGPC over remuneration and hours of performance at Akal Takht refuses to die down.
Today, they staged a protest outside the SGPC office in the Golden Temple complex and later burnt the effigy of SGPC officials at the Heritage Street against a “cut” in their dues and performance hours.
Cut in income irks performers
- Dhadis earn their income from donations by the visiting pilgrims only while they perform outside Akal Takht
- This implies that more the hours they perform, more will be their income
- However, their performance hours have been reduced from nine hours to six hours
Though they held a discussion with the SGPC officials, including Partap Singh, secretary SGPC, Balwinder Singh, secretary Dharam Parchar Committee, Balwinder Singh and Satbir Singh Dhami, OSDs to the SGPC president, but the meeting remained inconclusive.
The SGPC officials showed helplessness for want of fresh directions from Akal Takht officiating Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh. Following this, Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Shiromani Dhadi Sabha head Baldev Singh has announced that they would stage a dharna at the Akal Takht Secretariat tomorrow.
He said the Jathedar was inclined to the revival of the ‘Tanti saaz’ (traditional string instruments during the Gurus’ period) to recite the Gurbani kirtan and singing vaars (ballads) in staging ‘diwan’ at Akal Takht.
“We are afraid that these steps were being taken to wipe us out and made us jobless. So, we decided to hold a protest tomorrow,” he said.
Baldev Singh said, “The remuneration of Rs 7,500 that was being paid extra to jatha members during ‘sangrandh’ and ‘masya’ has been withdrawn by the SGPC. The performance timing was reduced by three hours. Besides, if any jatha member was absent, the entire jatha would be denied permission to perform.”
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