The American Sikh Council (ASC) is shocked at the blasphemous acts committed by the members of the Gurdwara committee by design in order to entertain some Brahmin mahants/swamis at the Guru Nanak Darbar of Long Island (GNDLI) Gurdwara in Hicksville, NY on June 13, 2022.
Pictures and video clearly show these Hindu mahants in saffron robes and caps sitting on chairs inside the sangat hall in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahibji, while all the Sikhs were sitting on the carpeted floor. It has also come to our attention that the members of Gurdwara committee acquiesced to the despicable whims of these Brahmin mahants/swamis who were being treated as guests in a private home rather than a gurdwara. No women were allowed while these Brahmin mahants were inside the sangat hall, the langar being served to them could not contain garlic, onions, etc., and no women could prepare it either.
This is indeed unconscionable and incredibly disrespectful by the gurdwara committee-walas! There is simply no excuse by these committee-walas for committing this horrendous blasphemy, on several levels.
A gurdwara has nothing in common with a Hindu mandir/temple, so a gurdwara cannot be used as one!
The protocol in the ‘Guru’s darbar, remains the same irrespective of whether a janitor or a king is present. The Sikh Rehait Maryada is the same regardless of who is present in the ‘Guru’s’ Darbar! Under the guise of interfaith propriety, the gurdwara management seems to have completely forgotten the very basic Sikh religious protocol in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahibji.
The videos and pictures clearly show two Hindu men sitting on the chairs inside the diwan hall while the rest of the Hindu men sitting on chairs within the rear enclosure, meant specifically for the old and the physically challenged. It clear that none of Hindu mahants sat on the floor along with the Sikh hosts.
No guest regardless of their faith/religion, can be allowed to sit on a chair in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahibji unless the person is physically challenged, which was not the issue in this particular case. Moreover, adding insult to injury, these Hindu mahants even dictated who and how their food would be prepared and who could serve it. This is the height of insolence and goes against everything that happens inside a gurdwara and is a shame to interfaith solidarity.
These Hindu mahants seemed to have a clear agenda which included seeing how far they can push the boundaries of religious protocol, which not only disrespect but also go against the host’s religious traditions.
The American Sikh Council (ASC) is mortified by the actions of the committee-walas at the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara of Hicksville, NY. This type of blasphemy must not happen again anywhere, especially when it is so wrong, embarrasses the entire Sikh community and direct affront to the Guru Granth Sahibji.
All those involved in this major ‘blasphemy’ (beadbi) must be questioned and are answerable to the larger Sikh community. The Sikhs of the over a dozen gurdwaras in the greater New York City area can decide how to handle the fallout and penalize them in order to rectify any further infractions by them and others who become cavalier simply to please their political masters from another country.