Our Akal Takht needs to get its act together!

The American Sikh Council (ASC) is very concerned about the recent ‘hukamnama’ which was unilaterally issued by the acting Jathedar Harpreet Singh on May 3, 2022 from the Akal Takht, Darbar Sahib, Amritsar against two innocent Sikhs residing in America.

The ‘hukamnama’ was for the alleged ‘beadbis’ committed by two separate individuals and on two separate issues. The first, supposed allegation against Thaminder Singh of Los Angeles, California was for correcting a file and printing the Guru Granth Sahibji. The second purported allegation on Dr. Onkar Singh of Phoenix, Arizona is for working independently, researching and elucidating the Guru Granth Sahibji in several volumes. Dr. Onkar Singh’s sewa has nothing to do with Thaminder Singh’s issue and vice-a-versa.

In this particular case neither of the two individuals have done anything unethical, anti-panthic or anti-gurmat in reference to Guru Granth Sahibji, which has been broadly circulated on social media as ‘beadbi’. The specific allegations against both individuals have not been proven by anyone, least of all the Akal Takht and its minions.

In fact, Thaminder Singh must be applauded and honored for having the mettle to stand up against the herd by bringing up the issue of minor printing errors in the Guru Granth Sahibji. There is no question that the current version of the Guru Granth Sahibji printed by the SGPC has many errors, which have been pointed out to them by their own ‘Sodh committee’ many times, yet in the last 70+ years, they have never attempted to fix the problem, but continue to stay silent and keep printing the same Guru Granth Sahibji which contains mistakes. This means that the SGPC under the auspices of the Akal Takht is one continually doing the ‘beadbi’ and must be taken to task, as this is a very serious transgression.

There is a laundry list of issues that the Akal Takht should be handling but is remiss in its moral responsibility, yet interfering in issues outside its domain with little or no understanding of the ground realities, while jumping to conclusions and producing un-Sikh-like ‘fatwas’ on innocent Sikhs seems to be the norm. This not only demeans the status of the Akal Takht but makes all the Sikhs look out of sync with the rest of society.

All sensitive issues must be dealt with discreetly and through a proper protocol set up by highly educated and panthic gursikhs, rather than today’s standard, i.e., a group of self-appointed uneducated Sikhs led by their political masters, including the very anti-Sikh, Dam Dami Taksal and the Sant-Samaj mafia, who regularly pressure the (presiding) Jathedar into issuing ‘hukamnamas’ at their behest against perceived enemies.

Our Akal Takht must be in the business of focusing on how to unify the entire Panth, rather than selectively and unilaterally throwing Sikhs out of the Panth! Humkanamas against anyone is completely wrong and goes against the very ethos of Sikhi. No Sikh, including the Jathedar has any right to throw any other Sikh out of the Sikh Panth!

The overarching and critical issue about the correction of any inadvertent errors, due to printing or otherwise in the modern printed version of the Guru Granth Sahibji must be taken up seriously and urgently by the SGPC, but with the full collaboration of other Gurbani experts in the diaspora. Once the extremely minor printing errors ‘path bhed’ which have crept in over time, are fixed and agreed upon by all legitimate Sikh orgs across Punjab and the diaspora, the master copies can be coded and filed for accuracy.

The American Sikh Council (ASC) requests the Akal Takht and the SGPC to take up the issue of corrections in the Guru Granth Sahibji as the highest priority and act on this immediately. All printing issues also must be discussed collectively and agreed upon through consensus and there cannot be any action taken unilaterally by the Akal Takht. If the SGPC and Akal Takht do not take this seriously, then the American Sikh Council along with other (like) national organizations in the diaspora will take the responsibility of this task and move forward to rectify this very unfortunate status quo.

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