Due to the recent events in Punjab (#SikhLivesMatter), during last few weeks many Sikh organizations have come together and adopted several resolutions condemning the desecration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and against the political party in power in Punjab. Some of Sikh organizations have questioned the authority of the SGPC in handling Sikh affairs, Jathedars and Panj Piaray. The Global Sikh community must think of long term solutions so that the Sikh Community does not find itself in such a situation.
The Global Sikh Council (GSC) cautions the vigilant Sikh diaspora that unless Sikhs wake up and unite under one flag, and approach the world community for justice, the Sikhs will continue to suffer in Punjab and their voices will be stifled, just like it was done earlier prior to and after the Indian army attack on Darbar Sahib and other Sikh Gurdwaras in June 1984.
Global Sikh Council suggests the following:
1) Continue to peacefully protest the unforgivable desecration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and all other atrocities being committed by the Badal Government.
2) Boycott Badal the clan and all their supporters from ever being recognized in your Gurdwara /Sikh organizations in any form, and definitely not allowing them to collect any funds.
3) Contain the SGPC role to its assigned duties as per 1925 Act, which are to just manage the affairs of the historic Sikh Shrines/Gurdwaras in Punjab of that time. As per the 1925 Act, SGPC has no role in making any decisions regarding the interest of Sarbat Khalsa in any capacity. Therefore SGPC needs to be kept within its own limited domain.
4) Now that the SGPC appointed Jathedars have been asked for an explanation by the Panj Piaray, they are barred from any and all Panth related activities till their cases are heard. They should be brought to justice by the Sarbat Khalsa. No hearings of Jathedars should be held until the Sarbat Khalsa can be convened in a proper forum to make its decisions.
5) The Panj Piaray, normally assigned to carry out ‘Khanday Da Pahul’ initiation ceremony have been sacked by the SGPC President, Avtar Singh Makkar. To avoid any further confusion resulting in minimization of the status of the institution of Panj Piaray in any shape or form, no new Panj Piaray of their own should be appointed by anybody until the Sarbat Khalsa can convene and make formal decisions.
6) Sarbat Khalsa should only be called by the consensus of all the parties involved and not just by one or even a limited number of organizations. In addition, calling a Sarbat Khalsa meeting in any location in India has its own risks and should initially be avoided.
7) With the change in times, the decision making mechanism of the Sarbat Khalsa needs to be updated.
In view of the changed times, Global Sikh Council suggests the following:
a. Sikhs need to form local organizations and select representatives who can appropriately represent the interest of the local community internally, as well as externally. Each Sikh representative must be a member of one such local organization.
b. These local organizations need to form national level Sikh organizations that represent their interest at the national level in that country and select a few representatives to represent their interest at the global level.
c. The Sarbat Khalsa, consisting of all the representatives from the national level Sikh organizations, can then decide all the global level Panthic matters. Such a Sarbat Khalsa can meet in person twice a year and communicate as often as the need to be, using modern technological tools.
Such a structure will provide opportunity for decentralized decision making by the local organizations concerning the local issues falling in their domain and a centralized body for the global issues concerning overall religious matters. In this structure there is room for decision making process without naming the decision makers so they may not be marked, bought, or threatened.
8) Fortunately some Sikhs with foresight have already started the work along these lines and they do have a blue print for such an organization.
Instead of constantly forming new organizations the Global Sikh Council suggests that all Sikhs should join what exists, get involved, and improve the structure where needed. Today the Sikhs are savvy enough that they can/will come up with something that is acceptable to all.
Global Sikh Council (GSC) represents collective views of the Sikhs on Global Issues, developed through collaboration. GSC endeavors to serve the Sikhs worldwide through National Level Sikh Organizations with no interference in the internal functioning of member organizations.
Founding Members are:
Australia: National Sikh Council of Australia
Canada: Federation of Sikh Societies of CANADA
Pakistan: Pakistan Sikh Council
Malaysia: Malaysia Gurudwara Council,
United Kingdom: Network of Sikh Organizations – UK
United States of America: American Sikh Council (formerly known as World Sikh Council – America Region)