AMRITSAR SAHIB— The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) took a stand to implement Sikh Rehit Maryada when it decided to bar women “with dyed hair” from performing kirtan at Gurdwara Santokhsar Sahib, a historical shrine under its jurisdiction.
The SGPC has justified its action on the grounds that the Sikh Rehat Maryada or Sikh religious code laid down by the Akal Takht and the entire Sikh Panth makes it clear that Sikhs with dyed hair cannot perform kirtan or recite gurbani at historical Gurdwaras. However, some are questioning the ruling and are stating that the Sikh Rehat Maryada only makes a mention of “dyed beards”. “It is silent on the role of women with dyed hair,” said senior SGPC member Kiranjyot Kaur.
But the appointed Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh felt the managers were justified in barring the women from performing kirtan. When asked about the code only expressly mentioning dyed beards, the jathedar replied, “You need not mention everything. If the rehat maryada mentions only dyed beards of Sikh men, it does not imply that women with dyed hair are free to perform sewa in historical shrines. The code prohibits the dyeing of hair, whether of men or of women.”
The jathedar said that if the women were keen to perform sewa, they must on their own stop dyeing hair. He also stressed that though the rehat maryada only made a mention of historical shrines, “all gurdwaras should follow these rules”