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Giani Harpreet Singh, Akal Takht Jathedar, Bats for Amendment of Sikh Gurdwaras Act

Giani Harpreet Singh, acting Jathedar of Akal Takht, said the Sikh Gurdwara Act was framed in 1925 and no amendments have been incorporated in it since then.

News18

Updated:January 30, 2019, 5:20 PM IST
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Giani Harpreet Singh, Akal Takht Jathedar, Bats for Amendment of Sikh Gurdwaras Act
File photo of Akal Takht in Amritsar, Punjab.
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Chandigarh: Giani Harpreet Singh, the acting Jathedar of the Akal Takht, has mooted changes in the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925. “It’s time the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925 gets amended for the better future of the Sikh community,” Harpreet Singh told News 18 on Wednesday.

“The Indian Constitution came into force in 1950, and the Parliament has amended it many a times. Similarly, the Gurdwara Act was framed in 1925 and similar amendments should have been incorporated in it after consulting various Sikh scholars and intellectuals. But it hasn’t happened till now,” pointed out Harpreet Singh, who also serves as the Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib, another Sikh temporal seat situated at Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda, Punjab.

“It is necessary for the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) to emerge as an even larger and better organisation of the Sikhs on a global stage,” he added.

A day earlier, similar sentiment echoed at the one-day workshop in Ludhiana which was organised by the Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle. Apart from Harpreet Singh, the workshop was attended by eminent Sikh scholars, including Sardara Singh Johal, Dr SP Singh, Dr Khem Singh Gill, Dr Balkar Singh and Dr (Lt. Col.) GPI Singh, Vice-Chancellor of Adesh University, Bathinda.

The workshop had Sikh intellectuals discussing topics such as ‘how to maintain the importance, dignity and reverence of the Akal Takht’ and ‘agendas of the SGPC in the context of Sikh diaspora and globalisation’.

Asked if he would take up the suggestions that came up during the workshop with the Singh Sahibaans or the SGPC president, Harpreet Singh responded in the negative, saying, “As of now only ideas have been exchanged”.

“These are my personal thoughts and I have merely put these before the scholars,” added Harpreet Singh who is presently pursuing PhD from department of religious studies, Punjabi University.

The Gurdwara Act, passed way back in 1925, paved way for the formation of Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee with the aim of reformation of Sikh religious places. The SGPC today controls nearly 200 historic shrines in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The gurdwaras in Delhi are administered by Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee.

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