Following the controversial edict passed by Iqbal Singh (Patna Sahib) and Harnam Singh Dhumma at Takht Sri Patna Sahib, controversial preacher Harjinder Dilgeer has attempted to further divide the panth on the issue of Raagmala. On Facebook, Dilgeer’s derogatory remarks on the Raagmala controversy have sparked anguish among Sikhs.
On January 7, Dilgeer posted –
“On January 8, 2017, there was a meeting of Nirmalas and Dhumma’s follower in which they threatened to excommunicate us. Whoever seeks a volume of Guru Granth Sahib Ji without Raagmala, you will be sent a copy via courier mail.”
Dilgeer’s comments on Raagmala have come at a time when elements such as Harnam Singh Dhumma and Iqbal Singh are attempting to create divisions within the Panth on sensitive issues. Sadly, this controversial edict has been endorsed by several Panthik groups which also supported Sarbat Khalsa 2015. Sarbat Khalsa gave a call to all Sikhs to not indulge in any controversial topics and work on creating more in-roads for a Panthik voice. This call was given as “Resolution #9” in November 2015.
Iqbal Singh’s edict undermines the very existence of the most supreme Sikh temporal shrine, as all Panthik Gurmatte (nation’s decisions) in the past have only been taken in attendance of five Gursikhs and Guru Granth Sahib at Sri Akal Takht Sahib. Patna Sahib being a regional Takht can only govern on local issues affecting the Sikhs of its jurisdiction, whereas, the Akal Takht Sahib is the most supreme, as agreed upon by representative of all five Takhts on November 19, 2003.
The Sikh Rehit Maryada makes recitation of Raagmala optional for all Sikhs, as opposed to the edict issued by Iqbal Singh. While the reading is optional, Akal Takht Sahib has mandated that no saroops of Guru Granth Sahib be printed without the inclusion of the Raagmala, for this reason, even organizations such as the Akhand Kirtani Jatha that do not consider Raagmala as written by the Gurus, continue to include Raagmala in Guru Granth Sahib’s written form.
Harjinder Dilgeer has been notorious for making controversial statements to cause rifts within Panthik jathebandis. He has a special enmity with the Damdami Taksal and the Akhand Kirtani Jatha, and has in past, attempted to sour relationships between the two. Dilgeer came to prominence in the early 1990s when he published books on the Sikh Nationalism movement and the Sikh Reference Book. However, his later publications have been shrouded in controversy, where he has gone against the basic tenants and well established accounts from the Sikh history.
Dilgeer has faced the fury of the Sikh Sangat across the world and remains banned from several Gurdwaras across North America, Europe and Australia. Sikh Sangat needs to remain aware of Dilgeer’s motives to divide the Panth. He is notorious for his blasphemous work in the past, that include –
- Close relations with excommunicated Gurbaksh Kala Afghana and Ragi Darshan “Singh”
- Guru Nanak Dev Ji never visited Mecca, hence never rotated the Kabba
- Guru Arjan Dev Ji never sat on a hot plate by his own will and was drowned in the river by force
- Guru Harkrishan Ji never blessed Chajju to recite the meanings of Gita
- Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji never saved the sinking ship of Makhan Shah Lubana
- Guru Gobind Singh Ji never partook Khande Baate Ki Pahul from the Punj Piare
- Mittar Pyare Nu or other compositions attributed to Guru Gobind Singh Ji were never penned by him
It is important to note that while Dilgeer has been recently airing comments against Sri Dasam Bani and Sikh history, in his works from the late 1990s, he remained a firm believer in Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s writings as can be seen from his “Sikh Reference Book”.
Sikh Sangat should remain aware of tactics by pseudo scholars and leaders such as Harjinder Dilgeer, Iqbal Singh (Patna Sahib), Harnam Singh Dhumma and others, whose main motive is to cause rifts within the Khalsa Panth and re-ignite centuries old controversies that have been purposely left unsettled by the Akal Takht Sahib.
The Khalsa Panth is going through critical times and its very own existence is being challenged. Sikh Jathebandis which play a prominent role in the past several decades for the Panth’s chardi kala are being made to challenge each other’s authority. Who will benefit from all this?
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