Amritsar: The Panj Payare (five Sikh beloved) have asked the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC), the primer Sikh body, to terminate all services of five jathedars (high priests) in the larger interest of the Sikh community.
The Panj Payare, who were present at the Akal Takhat, pronounced their “Gurmatta” (a resolution passed in a council presided by Guru or with advice of Guru) on Friday after the jathedars failed to appear before the Akal Takht (the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs).
SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar had on Wednesday suspended the Panj Payare for summoning the five jathedars at the Akal Takhat on Friday for giving clarification on pardoning of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, which he later revoked.However, Makkar refused to accept their resolution.
After a wait of about two hours, when the jathedars failed to appear at the Akal Takht, the Panj Payare pronounced their order.
While reading the Gurmatta before the present Sikh sangat (gathering of Sikh devotes) the Panj Payare said for the past many days, there had been unrest in the community over the certain decisions taken by the five jathedars in recent past, which proved that they failed to come up to the expectation of the community”.
One of the Panj Payare felt that by not appearing at the Akal Takht the jathedars had committed gross violation of the Sikh ‘maryada’ (code of conduct). They said the resentment among the Sikh community had reached to its pinnacle, and the ‘Panth’ (the community) sought their resignation.
Sikh scholars opine that the prevailing situation and the direction of the Panj Payare would likely to further deepen the crisis and would evoke sharp reactions from Sikh diasporas across the globe.
American Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (AGPC) coordinator Pritpal Singhof told ANI: “Overall, the situation does not leading to resolve the issue. However, we welcome the decision of the Panj Pyarae, who have asked the SGPC to terminate the services of the five jathedars, as the jathedars have lost the faith of the community, and thus, they have no authority to remain in the seat.”
Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) president Parmjit Singh Sarna said, “A state of confusion prevailing in the community. The Panj Payare should have sacked the jathedars directly, instead of giving direction to the SGPC.”
Harminder Singh of Gurdwara Sahib, Switzerland, said, “We fail to understand where we are heading for? We belong to a very peaceful community, and its painful to us that some of the political leaders are using our religious bodies for their vested interest.”
SGPC senior member Kirnjot Kaur, however, said: “It’s an extraordinary and unprecedented situation that needs extraordinary solution.”