Panel formed in 2015, but SGPC yet to frame service rules for Jathedars : The Tribune India

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Panel formed in 2015, but SGPC yet to frame service rules for Jathedars

Panel formed in 2015, but SGPC yet  to frame service rules for Jathedars

Akal Takht’s officiating Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh. File photo



Tribune News Service

GS Paul

Amritsar, September 16

The SGPC panel constituted to frame the policies regarding the appointment, service span, jurisdiction and relieving of Takht Jathedars (heads) has been lying defunct.

The issue came alive again when Akal Takht’s officiating Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh raised it from the platform of Akal Takht during a programme yesterday.

Takht heads removed unceremoniously

April 2017: Giani Gurmukh Singh removed as Takht Damdama Sahib Jathedar after he spoke against the alleged political interference in Panthic decisions, especially pardon to Dera Sirsa head

January 2015: Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh sacked from the post of Jathedar, Takht Damdama Sahib, for supporting original Nanakshahi calendar

August 2008: Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti removed from the post of Jathedar, Akal Takht, after he refused to be lenient on the Dera Sacha Sauda case

March 2000: Giani Puran Singh, Jathedar, Akal Takht, sacked after he excommunicated then SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur

February 1999: Bhai Ranjit Singh, Jathedar, Akal Takht, shown the door for supporting the then SGPC president Gurcharan Singh Tohra having differences with Parkash Singh Badal

Interestingly, SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami was also present on the occasion. Emphasising on safeguarding Sikh institutions, Giani Harpreet Singh, from the dais, questioned the SGPC about the delay in framing policy for Takht Jathedars.

“A policy has to be framed about how long a Jathedar could occupy Takht’s seat, scope of his rights and the procedure to relieve him. If a wrong decision or mistake is made by a Jathedar, norms should be there under which he could be punished, suspended or removed,” he said.

Earlier, former Jathedar Akal Takht Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti had raised the same issue and communicated to the SGPC to frame a policy on Jathedars.

The way Jathedars of three of the five Sikh Takhts (temporal seats) — Akal Takht, Takht Damdama Sahib and Takht Kesgarh Sahib — are appointed and sacked has often come in for criticism from Panthic circles. The other two Takhts (Patna Sahib in Patna and Hazoor Sahib at Nanded in Maharashtra) located outside Punjab have their separate management committees that appoint their Jathedars, but after taking the Centre into confidence. This process too has invited resentment.

Giani Harpreet Singh said that the board of Takht Hazoor Sahib had been suspended for five months, but no voice was being raised to reconstitute it. Similarly, no board was working in Takht Patna Sahib.

Recently, Takht Patna Sahib Jathedar Giani Ranjit Singh was declared ‘tankhaiah’ and his services were terminated allegedly for misappropriation of Daswandh (one-tenth of offering by devotees) and for issuing a ‘whimsical’ edict by the ‘Panj Pyare’ (five beloved ones) which led to ‘confusion’.

A panel was constituted by the SGPC on January 21, 2015 to decide on the rules governing appointments and service rules pertaining to the Jathedars. It is learnt that except for holding a meeting at Anandpur Sahib, where it was decided to set up an email ID so that suggestions from intellectuals could be invited, no follow-up action was taken.

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#giani harpreet singh #SGPC #Sikhs #sirsa #takht sri damdama sahib


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