AMRITSAR SAHIB—Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh has passed a resolution directing members of the Sikh community living worldwide that any future Gurdwaras must come into existence only after the pre-approval of Sri Akal Takht Sahib. He said that the incremental growth in the number of Gurdwaras that are coming into existence was alarming and this trend must be stopped.
Giani Gurbachan Singh told the press that he was aware of the fact that Gurdwaras were necessary to the Sikh community. He said there is a need to construct Gurdwaras in the remote areas of many countries where Sikh Sangat resides in abundance but still does not have any place of worship. At the same time, he held that there are many places where there are multiple Gurdwaras located close to each other.
Furthermore, the Jathedar alleged that it was anti-Gurmat to form trusts to manage Gurdwaras. He told the press that the Akal Takht has received complaints about many Gurdwaras which have now become places of business where the Sikh code of conduct remains missing. Many of these Gurdwaras are closely held and controlled by private parties and sangat has no say in their operation.
It should be mentioned that in March, the Akal Takht Sahib took notice of Rochester Gurdwara banning baptized Sikhs from the Gurdwara for carrying the kirpan. Akal Takht Sahib was notified by local Sikh Sangat from Rochester that the Rochester Gurdwara committee consists mainly of apostate Sikhs who have no concern for Sikh Rehit Maryada. In addition, Sikh Sangat from California also brought to the attention of Akal Takht Sahib a recent incident in which baptized Sikhs were also banned from entering some Gurdwaras there during programmes by Ragi Darshan Singh, an ex-communicated Sikh.
Giani Gurbachan Singh upheld that a mandate already exists which bars any committee to build a Gurdwara based upon caste and regional allegiance. A committee was also started in 2002 under the umbrella of the Dharam Parchaar Committee to ensure Gurdwaras do not segregate sangat based on caste—however countless Gurdwaras exist in Punjab and western countries where this mandate is not followed. No action has been taken against such Gurdwaras thus far.