Op/Ed: Views by a BC Sikh Activist on Guru Granth Sahib’s Satkar and Visit by Manjit Singh GK

I have been in Toronto for over a week and made no comment on this issue as an individual due to not being on the ground to actually ask the questions and gather the information. I only have a couple of comments.

First, I would call Manjit GK anti-Panthik, and upon further deliberation, he is definitely the son of his useless father Santokh Singh, a puppet of Indira Gandhi. All his father’s slavery inspired work aside, GK himself has been no less slavery inspired through Badal, BJP, RSS, and Hindutva connections. Just because a person does one thing we could consider in our favour—meaning that I am pro-Dasam Bani—and in that case GK is somehow acceptable because he removed some other naastiks from Gurdwaras in Delhi… but what about his “naastikness?”

GK openly stated that his priority is to go around the west and convince Sikhs that they are Hindustani (as he so proudly proclaims himself) and that a separate state is harmful. His reasoning against Khalistan is ludicrous—its completely based on how it may hurt the economy and obviously points at the inability people like him and Badal would have to line their pockets as privileged members of society.

Manjit GK is supportive of regimes that have consistently had assimilation and genocidal policies towards the Sikh population

This privilege of their families, wealth, etc. blinds them from anakh as Sikhs and to always do what is right and not compromise on panthik affairs. Bhai Joga Singh (of UK, who is an extremely well respected leader of the Sikh community internationally), has a youtube video where he ridicules GK for his track record. I agree that conversations are important, but when you invite an individual to what we consider a panthik school and stage in a “VIP” role you are inviting protest and backlash. When people within the panth feel they are being sidelined and pushed aside—especially in such high numbers—then ultimately this is what will happen. I have worked in Gurdwaras for 6 years and I know for a fact I don’t have control on all decisions and nor do I agree with every decision. In matters concerning Sarbjit Dhunda at Dasmesh Darbar, it was me against the entire committee and all I could do was boycott the Gurdwara for 2 weeks while he was there. I met with Singhs and they wanted to protest and I was fine with it. When committees or leadership doesn’t listen, the sangat have every right to agitate because what other option is there when conversation is avoided and then not taken seriously.

For a lack of better words, Manjit GK is supportive of regimes that have consistently had assimilation and genocidal policies towards Punjab, Punjabi, and the majority Sikh population which resides there. Why would an individual like this be invited to the opening of an immense seva like a Khalsa High School, which the local Sikh community should be immensely proud of. This is a mistake and using people like Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, who we all supported until he himself became a puppet in the hands of the powers at hand, is misguided—but this is another issue we can discuss at any time.

When it comes to the transport of saroops … we have all been blind to this issue until now

When it comes to the beadbi of saroops, there definitely was issues with satkar when it comes to the transport of saroops in the present case. This whole thing of defending the transport doesn’t make sense. People are posting that its been done this way for 30-35 years and it has, but maybe we have all been blind or purposely blind to this issue until now. Don’t defend the transport and beadbi—agree that it is beadbi and agree that we were all part of the problem until now.

Now it is a choice of who wants to continue to be a part of the problem and I, for one, refuse—and I know a majority of youth refuse as well. I am one of those individuals that believes saroops should not leave Gurdwaras on a permanent basis, only temporary for day programs. Sangat should be encouraged to take pothi sahibs and senchya home for day to day use. This is something that not only the Malik family, Satnam Trust, or Khalsa school needs to be aware of. Every Gurdwara in the lower mainland should have the finger pointed at them. Those of us in Gurdwara Sahibs understand that from ramalay sahibs to gutke to saroops, satkar is lacking everywhere. I believe that this problem is universal and perhaps the worst is in individual homes.

Thoughts need to be given to the printing press. For what? The Vancouver area should first have audits of every Gurdwara Sahib for how many saroops actually exist so there is a record and what is done with those saroops. If we stop saroops from going out to individual homes then what exactly does a press provide us in the short term except for infighting? If Nanaksar Bulundpuri took 22 saroops from the 400 plus shipped, what exactly are they planning with them? If proclaimed panthik Gurdwaras like Dasmesh Darbar (where I am in a seva position of Vice President) can continue to do 10-12 Akhand Paats lined up in a row and more saroops are being offered to them are we not seeing the pattern of beadbi that will continue?

We are all becoming a part of this problem. Will we as a sangat go to these Gurdwaras as this is also a beadbi issue and how will we tackle this? Then imagine if hundreads or thousands of saroops are in homes across the Vancouver area. How do we account for beadbi and satkar issues there? This is a much deeper problem than we are discussing and some opportunistic people taking shots at one family because of personal issues is not fair neither here nor there—it’s agenda based politics.

Some opportunistic people taking shots at one family because of personal issues is not fair

In my opinion, in the present issue no printing press should come to Vancouver and it most certainly should not come under the care of one society. If it is not an immediate need then it should not be an immediate concern. Manjit GK should not be allowed stages in the lower mainland and protests and a response should be expected because of his track record including his comments concerning Baba Jarnail Singh being “trapped by the congress in political terms” and further insinuating that he was the cause for the June 1984 attack on Darbar Sahib.

These people come for 2 days and split our community for 2 years! We need to be aware of their politics as well. At any point whoever decided to call him down could have had some anakh and said we won’t deal with GK, either send another rep who is not carrying this much baggage when it comes to comments against Gursikhs and Gurmattas approved in Sarbat Khalsa 1986/87—they’re all of the same party under the same thumb, but conversation with someone not carrying baggage like this and who has shown his anti-pantic stance with his comments, can be had—or “saade mathe na lago”.

Just list to this one thing, we need panthik, kaumee anakh and Guru satkar more than printing presses or favours disguised as “blessings” by the sold-out SGPC and DSGMC.



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