NEW YORK, NY—The Head Granthi of Glen Cove Gurdwara in New York told Sikh24 earlier today that the incident of a bride sitting alongside Guru Granth Sahib was a shameful act. “We are trying to find out when this incident took place, and ensure the same mistake is not repeated again,” said Paramjit Singh.
Paramjit Singh, who has been doing seva at the Gurdwara for years, stated that they ensure Guru Granth Sahib is given proper respect at all times. He said this particular incident took place when he was out of the country, but acknowledged that it was due to a lack of supervision inside the darbar.
“The incident must have taken place after the wedding was over.” He added, “We ask all couples to leave the hall immediately after ardas, the bride must have returned for a photo-shoot after langar.”
The photos of the Bride, Sonal Parmar, are spreading on social media like wildfire. In the photographs, she has her back to the Guru, while sitting on his throne.
As per the Granthi Sevadar, no permission was sought from the Gurdwara for the photo shoot.
Such incidents are on the rise in Western countries, where a new generation of Sikhs is emerging that has little to no understanding of Sikh values and beliefs. Jagtar Singh, senior editor of Sikh24 said that Gurdwaras need to play a prominent role to ensure families that are being wed fully understand what it means to get married in presence of Guru Granth Sahib.
Anand karaj has become a mere ritual in these days. Sikhs who get married in Gurdwaras do not necessarily understand the commitment to Sikhi, however due to traditions, they still continue the ceremony of Anand Karaj without actually understanding the meaning behind it.
Comments on social media have been educating to threatening. G Singh asked Parmar, “Why did you choose to even get married around Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj if you have no respect towards Maharaj?”
The Sikh Anand Karaj ceremony, is unique amongst religious traditions, in that it is not about the union of just a bride and groom, but it is about the union of two souls in love with God. The ceremony shows the couple’s commitment to God and Guru as the center of their lives.
Glen Cove Gurdwara committee is discussing this incident and has ensured that it will put in place policies to make sure such incidents are not repeated. The Gurdwara has appealed to the family to remove the blasphemous pictures from Facebook.
This scandal comes on the heels of another Anand Karaj scandal in the US in which a bridge and groom violated Sikh Maryada by walking side by side during the lavaan.