Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) President Harjinder Singh Dhami on Monday strongly condemned the announcement made by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann about adding a new clause in the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925, saying the Sikhs would never tolerate such direct interference.
Dhami told the media here that it was made clear to the Chief Minister that any amendment in the Sikh Gurdwaras Act could only be done by the Central government through the Parliament as per the recommendations of the SGPC general house.
He said Mann “wants to please his masters in Delhi by giving a political colour to the religious affairs of the Sikhs. Such thinking of Mann is a big attack on the Sikh organisation”.
He said Mann should talk about the development of the state as the Chief Minister instead of being the ‘Subedar’ of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Clarifying about the broadcast of Gurbani from Sachkhand Sri Harmandar Sahib, the SGPC President said the worldwide broadcast of Gurbani is already going on, with which the sangat (community) of the country and abroad are satisfied and no money is taken from the sangat.
He also said after the rights to Gurbani broadcast with G-Next Media (PTC Channel) are over in July, the SGPC sub-committee on this subject is working in this regard for the next arrangement, the meaningful results of which will be out soon.
Dhami questioned the Chief Minister to tell if his announcement to amend the Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1925 is not a direct interference in the religious affairs of the Sikhs?
He asked the Chief Minister that instead of misleading the sangat in the matter of Gurbani broadcast, he should pay attention to the maintenance, and cleanliness of the roads and surroundings of Sri Darbar Sahib and increase the facilities of the sangat, which is work of the government.
He said the government is directly interfering in the religious affairs of the Sikhs for its political interests and is taking the matter of Gurbani broadcasting without jurisdiction to the state assembly, while the state government of Punjab has no right of making amendment in the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925.
Dhami said a petition was filed against the SGPC by an organisation called Guru Nanak Dev Universal Brotherhood Society in the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding the issue of Gurbani broadcast, which was dismissed by the court considering the SGPC as a competent organisation.
He said earlier also, a resolution was passed in the legislative assembly of Punjab regarding the rights to broadcast Gurbani and now again, Maan is doing this act.
The SGPC President said in the 103-year history of the organisation, many governments have come and gone, and those who interfered in the work of the organisation had backed off.
He asked Mann to refrain from complicating the religious affairs of the Sikhs.
He said the Sikh community would never tolerate such direct interference.
He also thanked the leaders who rose above party ideologies against this thinking of Mann.