Gillingham, UK—On Monday, 20th February, 2012, the “Kent Ramgarhia Darbar” went against an Akaal Takht Sandesh and allowed anti-Gurmat activity in the upstairs darbar hall. The Gurdwara committee had posted posters which were later taken down by local Singhs advertising a Shivratri event.
Although this type of event has happened before in the Gurdwara, this is the first time the committee have openly advertised the event. The Hindu religious worshippers are not to blame as they are only practising their religion. The Sikh religion believes that all should practice their Faith firmly with freedom. However in line with Gurmat and the Sikh Rehat Maryada the Committee should have better understanding as to what is written there:
Sikh Rehat Maryada – Chapter 4
“Worship should be rendered only to the One Timeless Being and to no god or goddess”
It very clear here that no Idol worship or anything apart from GurbaNee or Sikh Ithiaas should be spoken in the Gurdwara.
“The Khalsa should maintain its distinctiveness among the professors of different religions of the world, but should not hurt the sentiment of any person professing another religion”
The Khalsa should remain Niyara and worship and meditate on the Gur-Shabad only. Sree Guru Granth Sahib jee & Sree Dasam Granth have hundreds of shabads opposing and condemning idol worship.
It was a shocking and upsetting scene in the Darbar hall on that day. The Hindus had set up their idols and pictures on what is believed to be Guru Maharaj’s takht (palanquin). They had even put a painting of Guru Gobind Singh Jee there and when the Hindu sangat were asked to remove it, the reply was that one of the committee members had said it was totally acceptable to put it there. The great majority of the Hindu sangat did not even cover their heads and some were also sitting on chairs. The overwhelming sound of the Hindu Geets had drained out the sound of the Sukhmani Sahib and Sukhasan that was going on in the downstairs hall. They were also preparing their own food in the langar kitchen.
However, it is important to note that the great majority of the Hindu sangat were fully co-operative and nice people. But to have such events which are totally against Gurmat (one must first research on the event they were celebrating) and thinking it is acceptable whilst stopping their own Sikh Sangat from doing Naam Abhiyaas, Keertan etc is completely intolerable. The event went on until 11pm. On the other hand, according to local Sikh Sangat, they are constantly told by the committee to make sure that Keertan does not reach one minute after 8pm.
There are also reports that the very same room is locked purposefully to prevent Gursikhs from doing Amritvela, Keertan or even a weekly Gurmat class. But sources say it is always open for yoga classes and Hindu festivals.
Many in the Sikh community in the UK and around the world hope that the Gillingham Committee learn from their mistake and do not commit it again and work with Sangat for a way forward. According to sources, panthik organisations have just begun to look into this matter and Sangat are outraged at what has happened.
If the Committee wishes to display goodwill and kindness towards other faiths and to hold worship sessions, then they can organise it somewhere outside of Gurdwara Sahib. Sports Halls and Houses should be arranged if the gurdwara committee wishes to help in their local community but not carry out practices against Sikh teachings.
Gur Fateh Jio,
What’s wrong in allowing a religious event at Gurudwara Sahib?
Don’t we observe all festivals together in India? You Sikhs living abroad
are misinformed or ill-informed by your elders or certain extremists
because of their political goals. From pictures it’s clear that this event
has been organized by Sri Sathya Sai Organization , the largest Spiritual
Organization in the world, working towards Unity of Faith n Love.
Please brothers n Sisters, don’t make our religion an extreme rigid religion
because the brittle things break fast. Let us be flexible. We are on path
to become another ISLAM. People fear to employ us worldwide, I have this hands on experience. Everybody thinks we are a violent community and ready to fight at little of provocation.
Let us think by our own minds and don’t play puppets in the hands of these handful of people who have only one agenda to achieve which is politics.
Sat Sri Akal