Moshi Moshi debacle and Sikh Reht Maryada

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By Karminder Singh Dhillon

By now most Sikh readers of Asia Samachar would agree that Moshi Moshi and respect for Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) cannot be put together into the same sentence or paragraph even. After all one is a night club promising the “craziest Bollywood experience” and the other the article of highest spiritual reverence for Sikhs. What on earth was the sensibility (or lack thereof) of a cigarette, liquor and entertainment associated establishment bringing in the SGGS, a renowned ragi jatha, a serving granthi and kirtan into their set up?

Surely that is not what Moshi Moshi meant by the “craziest experience,” one hopes, even if craziness may indeed be an apt description for the event. Yet the purpose of this piece is not to comment on the sensibility of the debacle, but to draw some lessons from it relating to veneration of the SGGS. And in the process help ensure that ignorance would not become an excuse for such disrespect to Banee and all things associated with it – kirtan included.

The Panth accepted and Akaal Takhat sanctioned Sikh Rehat Maryada (SRM) lays down a variety of guidelines for reverential treatment of the SGGS. Some relevant ones may be worth discussing.

Article 4(e) states that “the SGGS must be installed, read and closed with reverence. For installation, it is crucial that the place/location be clean /cleansed…and a canopy installed…”

The meaning of “clean and cleansed” is obviously more than just physical cleanliness. Such intent of the framers of the SRM is clear from the eight succeeding Articles which list out a whole gamut of acts that are clearly prohibited in the presence of the SGGS. These are acts that are contrary to Sikh tenets, Gurmat and the Sikh way of life. It is also clear from reading all these Articles above that the environment into which the SGGS is being brought and installed must be given due attention not just from the physical but spiritual point of view as well.

But it falls upon Articles 4(kh) and 4 (gh) to give us Sikhs a true interpretation of the utmost reverence that comes into play particularly when the SGGS is being transported outside of its normal place of installation, namely the Gurdwara.

The first Article stipulates that “An ardas be conducted when the SGGS is being transported from one place to another.” One would be hard pressed to find such a stipulation for the transportation of sacred scriptures of most other faiths in the world. An ardas on such an occasion is basically an act of seeking permission from the SGGS for its transportation.

The second part of this same article puts the burden of reverence on the individual carrying it by requiring him/her to “carry it on his/her head” and “be bare-footed except in unforeseen circumstances.”

But it is perhaps Article 4(gh) that puts the reverence of a transported SGGS into a pinnacle. This article reads “when the SGGS is brought in into an environment wherein there already exists a SGGS in installation state, every Sikh should rise in reverence.” For all practical purposes, this means that if someone brings in a saroop / swaree of the SGGS into a diwan whereby the sangat is seated and listening to Kirtan / Katha being performed, all these activities must be temporarily stopped for the sangat to stand up and pay their respects to the SGGS that is being transported.

Is it any wonder then that Sikhs put the respect and reverence of the SGGS above all else?

A couple more issues from the SRM that relate to the issue at hand are worth discussing even if for the purposes of enlightenment. Chapter 3, “Institutional Sikh Life” is titled “The Procedure of Tankhah (punishment) determination,” and it reads as follows:

  1. In the event a Sikh commits an error in the Sikh Way of Life, then he/she should appear before the nearest sangat and admit his/her error.
  1. The sangat should select the Panj Pyare in the presence of the SGGS who should then discuss the nature of the error and present their suggestion of the tankhah to the sangat.
  1. The sangat should not be fussy in forgiving. The error committing Sikh too should not argue / oppose. The tankhah should take the form of sewa, especially that which can be done with one’s self/hands.
  1. Finally, an ardas asking for corrective behaviour should be undertaken.

Given the raw sentiments of some Sikhs, as observable from the readers’ comments section of Asia Samachar relating to the Moshi Moshi debacle, I consider it relevant to make a few observations based on the above four articles of the SRM.

It is worth noting that the word “tankhah” is being used which only loosely (for lack of a proper word) translates into “punishment.” It is further worth noting that jurisdiction of the Panj Pyare (and sangat too) is by submission, not by law. The process can begin; only and only if the Sikh appears before the sangat on his own accord. Finally it must be noted that the tankhah must be in the form of sewa that the apologetic Sikh can do with his own hands.

The consequence of reading the above together is as follows, in my view. First, there ought to be no retribution, revenge, vengeance, or severe punishment of any kind whatsoever once the error committing Sikh has appeared before the sangat.

It is understandable when readers say things such as “they ought to know,” or “that the ragi, granthi, parbhandaks should have known better,” etc. It doesn’t help knowing that another renowned ragi, Bhai Jasbir Singh Ji Paonta walle, was caught up in a situation where the sangat got up and started dancing in the presence of the SGGS. It cannot be that the ragi and granthi in the Moshi Moshi case are unaware because Paonta walle posted a videotaped apology and appeared before the Akaal Takhat for his Tankhah.

Yet, such sentiments cannot come into the equation of the Tankhah process. The spirit and essence of the framers of the SRM is one of forgiveness, betterment of everyone involved and love (as symbolised by the need for the final ardas).

In the decision of the Panj Pyare in the Moshi Moshi case, asking for the setting up of the SGGS Satkar Committee, I see two other positive messages. First is the need to learn from our errors so as not to repeat them. This article is written in that light. The second – relating to the creation of the Satkar Committee – will perhaps best be brought to life by the Malaysian Gurdwaras Council. Over to you MGC.

– 

Karminder Singh Dhillon, PhD (Boston) writes on Gurbani and Gurmat issues in The Sikh Bulletin, USA. He also conducts Gurbani Katha in local Gurdwaras. He is currently running a Understanding Sohela Class at Gurdwara Sahib Petaling Jaya on Sundays 7 – 9 pm

 

[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. Please inform your friends of this new portal. Go to www.asiasamachar.com] – Asia Samachar (12 Jan 2015)

 

RELATED ARTICLE:

Moshi Moshi debacle and Sikh Reht Maryada (Asia Samachar, 12 Jan 2015)

5 lessons from Moshi-Moshi farce (Asia Samachar, 11 Jan 2015)

Parties admit to mistakes in Moshi-Moshi prayer fiasco (Asia Samachar, 5 Jan 2015)

Moshi-Moshi prayer fiasco (Asia Samachar, 5 Jan 2015)

12 COMMENTS

  1. Gurcharan Singh, Awatar Sidhu and even Dheer Singh have attempted to bring in all sorts of contentious matters that were never raised in the original article. I cannot figure out what their agendas are, other than to have us believe that “titiwangsa is floored,” the Panj Pyare don’t know maryada, “I waited to see who will catch the mistake first,” etc.

    Gurcharan Singhs says “Karaminder Singh Dhillon made a submission in part of the Sikh Rehat maryada; I made a similar submission; which has been supported by the ex jathedars and current custodians and other Sikh iluminaries.”

    See the difference? Karminder Singh Dhillon quotes the SRM. But you do not mention a single article of the SRM. You throw around names of people who agree with your claims.

    For every “ex-jathedar, custodian and luminary” you can quote to support your case, there exist an equal number on the other side. So who are we going to accept?

    Awatar Sidhu uses of the example that “a murderer should be tried for murder (bigger offence) and not the possession of a knife (smaller offence)” to suggest that the sehajdhari/patit should be given tankhah for “being a shejdhari / patit and also for taking the GGS to the wrong place.”

    This comparison is illogical because firstly, while we have a clear and legally accepted definition for the crime of “murder;” there is no agreed definition of “sehajdhari / patit”. The definitions you are trying to provide are half cooked at best, contentious at worst. You cannot try someone for a “crime” that has no definition.

    Secondly, we all agree that murder is a more serious offence than carrying a knife. The Penal Code says so. But who is to say that being a sehejdhari/patit is a bigger or lesser or equal “crime” than be-adbee and disrespect to the SGGS?

    Gurcharan Singh also raises the issue of “appeal” of the Titiwangsa Panj Pyare at Akaal Takhat. This is a non-issue since decisions of Panj Pyare anywhere are not appealable anywhere.

    Despite writing comments that are much longer than the original article, Gurcharan Singh and Awatar Sidhu are unable to add any value to the issue at hand.

  2. I asked a simple question: “Where in the SRM does it state that a patit/sahejdhari cannot appear before the Panj Pyare to admit his fault, submit and accept the tankhah proffered.”

    Instead of providing me (and Asia Samachar readers) with an answer, both Gurcharan Singh and Awatar Sidhu have resorted to diverting tactics:

    First, by calling me names. I am branded a “niketan defender,” and someone who is “assuming after assumption after assumption.” Another commentator (Dheer Singh) who questioned Gurcharan Singh is declared as a subscriber of ram rahim ideology !

    Second, instead of pointing me to the chapter, article or sub-article of the SRM, you asked me to read a whole plethora of stuff. You are assuming you are the only ones who read? You are also assuming I have not read them?

    I am asked to “read a book by Giani Gurbaksh Singh Gulshan, which defines every line of the maryada.”

    The SRM is in simple Punjabi. What is the need to “define every line of the maryada” unless the motive was to obfuscate, imply stuff that was not there, or twist the intent of the SRM authors.

    Chapter 3, “Institutional Sikh Life” or the SRM titled “The Procedure of Tankhah (punishment) determination,” reads as follows:

    In the event A SIKH commits an error in the Sikh Way of Life, then he/she should appear before the nearest sangat and admit his/her error. The sangat should select the Panj Pyare in the presence of the SGGS who should then discuss the nature of the error and present their suggestion of the tankhah to the sangat.

    The SRM says “A SIKH”. Simple and straight forward. Which word of the words “A SIKH” don’t we understand?

    If you want to twist and obfuscate these two words “A SIKH” then you need a whole chapter, an entire book or two that twists line by line, to prove your agenda that the words “A SIKH” really and truly mean ‘an amritdhari sikh, but not kesadhari, a patit but not a neeldhari, a nihang but not a naamdhari, a kirpan dhari but not a kachera dhari, a karra dhari but not a pagree dhare……”

    In any case, if these suggested readings are the sources of your unsustainable, unverifiable and non-existent dictates (in the SRM), then there would be no reason for anyone to read or re-read them.

    Third, they have tried to obfuscate my question.

    The issue is of a sehejdhari/patit appearing VOLUNTARILY before the Panj Pyare, but we are being inundated with Navjot Singh Sidhu being SUMMONED, hair cutting Sikhs being DENIED ENTRY into medical colleges, and a host of other COURT OF LAW cases.

    The defining word of the issue at hand is “voluntarily” where the outcome is TANKHAH.

    However, in ALL the cases being mentioned by Gurcharan Singh and Awtar Sidhu, there is no element of voluntariness, and the outcome is BENEFIT to those patits/sehejdharis.

    Read the SRM stipuation again. It says “appear before the NEAREST Sangat,” The Akaal Takhat is not the nearest sangat to Moshi Moshi. So we are not even talking about the Akaal Takhat here.

    Finally, to spare both of you the agony of looking under your beds for more names to call me, allow me to make clear that I am in no way associated with Niketan, SNSM, Gurdwara Titiwangsa, Moshi Moshi or the other associations involved. I also am not associated with any of the Panj Pyare.

    I am however A SIKH. Here is my question once more.

    “Where in the SRM does it state that a patit/sahejdhari cannot appear before the Panj Pyare to admit his fault, submit and accept the tankhah proffered.”

    The answer of course is NOWHERE.

  3. Thanks Awtar Singh Sidhu Ji for the updates .I have no inclinations to subscribe to the Ram Rahim Idelogy.Every one of us know how nuch of a sikh one is, in our daily lives.There is only one barometer to gauge us and that is the creator.
    I have learnt now that the identity is so much more important than anything else but not living the truthful life as ordained by the SGGS,the living Guru.
    Thank you brothers and may Waheguru ji always provide the strengths to all of us to understand him.
    Rgds
    dheer singh

  4. Dheer Singh is perhaps out of date and catching to some past hopes of being legalised as patit.Ranu was almost onemman band Sahejdhari Federatioin, similar to Ram Rahim.His case was thrown out of courts, and he was subsequently beaten up for challenging the Sikh panth’s ideology and spreading blasphemy.

    Kumar singh feels comepelled to defend the Niketan as he is a member of the Niketan from where the ill informed piares originated.

    Sr Gurcharan Singh has clearly stated it just simply did not have flaws, but was floored altogether.

    In addition to what has been said, I suggest these Malaysian home made “gianis” of Sikh rehat maryada should read another book by Giani Gurbaksh Singh Gulshan, which defines every line of the maryada, and clearly states a patit cannot be summoned nor askedto penance.Simple logic, one does not punish a murderer for carrying a knife, he is punished for the murder.Thus, a patit who has cut hair,will also have to be punished for cutting or his hair, not only for having the Guru Granth sahib where it is deemed inappropriate.

  5. Kumar Singh has made assumption after assumption, and carried on assuming!I have no grouse,I pointed out what the law of the Sikhs is,in practice as per the definition and practice of the SRM.If Karaminder Singh Dhillon made a submission in part of the Sikh Rehat maryada;I made a similar submission; which has been supported by the ex jathedars and current custodians and other Sikh iluminaries.

    Dheer Singh ji, I need not go into the definition of sehajdhari.It is crystal clear.A Sikh born in a kesadhari family does not qualify to be a Sehajdhari or is seen to sehajdhari,according to the SRM.I do not make the decisions, we go by the SRM and the Sikh practise.

    Many such cases have been around that claim contrary to Sikh definition as per SRM and disappear.Like wise the Sehajdahri party is almost a dead horse currently.This case has been thrown out, by the way, with a good beating to Ranu from powers be.That is not our concern nor an issue any longer.It is no longer in the Indian courts either.

    I put forward the case of Navjot Singh Sidhu, which has not been taken to Akal Takhat,for the very reasons explained.Perhaps Kumar Singh would offer similar situations where a patit by kesh has been summoned to the Panj Piare; on another transgression.Actions against such patist are decied through the Indian penal code and police reports, as I have understood.As such, police reports could have been made, which as we know will lie to rest upon the shelves, as seen in many previous cases relating to Sikh hurt!

    The case against Navjot is an ongoing issue.It has been made clear that he cannot be summoned to the Akal takhat nor any panj piare, thus clearly shows that Kumar Singh’s assertion that Titiwangsa was not the Akal Takhat, hardly stands nor matters.The Titiwangsa issue is floored and remains so.

    Both parties at Titiwangsa should have the full access to have their case heard and determined.In case,both or one of the parties decide they will to go to the Akal Takhat,the patit Sukhwinder cannot avail himself the process further to the Akal takhat, he is denied the full process he may seek to be heard; thus he cannot be summoned for another transgression; and decided either; nor offered a part resolution.One would not find a person guilty in a lower court ; and deny the same,access to the court of appeal.

    We can sit here and argue till the cows come home and go out to graze again,the SRM is very clear , and to avoid any contradiction, a patit in kesh cannot be summoned to be decided upon another transgression; whereby ignoring one part of his transgression of the faith.This is what the Sikh academics say creates a double standard and contradicts the practice.

    As for offerings at Harmander and the limitations imposed upon Akal takhat accepting offerings in similar vein is altogether a different issue.Only those in control can explain why such happens.This is not an issue that decides the case.After all, many Gurduara presidents are Mona and Patits as well, and many shardhaloos make offerings in most Gurduaras; is irelevent to this issue in discussion.

    Going back to the Akal Takhat, I suggest, Kumar Singh reads Atinder Pal Singh’s Akal Te Sikh Kesadhari han; Giani Gurbax Singh Gulshan’s Akal Takhat Di Maryada te Sikh Rehat da kanoon;and Bhai Roop Singh’s Sikh Rehat maryada -akhin ditthi.

    To date, no patit has been ever summoned to the Akal Takhat, except Professor Teja Singh, who appeared voluntaraily after transgressing the faith, by cutting his hair; and subsequently regreting his actions, reaffirming his entry to the faith.

    A floored flaw is often hard to see sitting on the bottom tip of the nose.

  6. Gurcharan Singh’s main grouse is the fact that the non-keshadhari sikh owner of Moshi Moshi had appeared before the Panj Pyare.

    Yet nowhere in the Sikh Rehat Maryada is it stated that a non-kesadhari cannot appear before the Panj Pyarey.

    Dr. Karminder Singh Dhillon, in his article makes clear that the authority of the Panj Pyare (outside of the Akaal Takhat, if I may add) is by SUBMISSION, not law.

    So any Sikh, of whatever disposition in Sikhi can appear before the Panj Pyare as long as he/she so desires and is willing to submit himself / herself.

    No one should have an issue with that.

    You say that you had “purposefully chosen to stay silent and observe, who would pick up the flaw of their whole action and process.” Why not speak out in a timely basis and prevent the flaw from happening in the first place? This would be real sewa, in my mind.

    In any event, what you term as a “flaw” is in reality no flaw at all.

    You are correct that the SRM says a patit and tahnkhayea Sikh cannot perform Ardas at any of the 5 Takhats.

    But this was no Takhat. I was Gurdwara Titiwangsa. Countless Sikhs of all dispositions across the world perform Ardas at countless Gurdwaras across the world on a daily basis. Are we going to stop them all?

    The Darbar Sahib – just opposite the Akaal Takhat – accepts Akhand Paath bookings from patits and does their Ardas; provided they pay the appropriate fee.

    Why is it OK to take their offerings but not accept their ardas?

  7. Further to my posts earlier
    Chandigarh, December 3 – Members of the SGPC executive, led by its president Avtar Singh, today laid down the definition of a Sehajdhari Sikh.

    Sticking to the definition given in the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925, the committee members have stated that Sehajdhari Sikhs are those who are born in non-Sikh families, but follow the tenets of Sikhism. A Sehajdhari Sikh is thus a non-Sikh who performs ceremonies according to Sikh rites; who does not use tobacco, does not consume halal meat in any form; who is not a “patit” and who recites the mulmantra of Guru Granth Sahib.

    In the resolution passed during a meeting held this evening, the SGPC pointed out that the definition of Sehajdhari given in the Section 2 (10-A) of the Gurdwara Act states that the word “sehajdhari” consists of two words “sehaj” (slowly) and “dhari” (adopt a religious path) and hence these are those novices who slowly move on the path of Sikhism to adopt its doctrine, ethics and tenets.

    A Sehajdhari, therefore, is one who has entered the path of Sikhism and he will continue to be a Sehajdhari Sikh till he fully accepts the moral and spiritual vows of Sikhism, to be called a practicing Sikh. The SGPC resolution also made it clear that when a Sehajdhari Sikh becomes a keshdhari Sikh, but he chooses to trim his body hair, he will not be a Sehajdhari Sikh. Similarly, if a person born into a Sikh family (and is a Sikh), but chooses to disrespect his keshdhari roop he will not turn into a Sehajdhari Sikh but become a “patit”.

    The SGPC would be filing an affidavit in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the basis of the resolution passed today.

    Taking up a petition filed by five students who had been denied admissions to MBBS course in a SGPC-run medical college on the ground that they were either trimming their beards or plucking their eyebrows, the full bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had on September 29 directed the SGPC to define a Sikh. The next date of hearing of the case is December 8.

    Pending in the court is a petition filed by the Sehajdhari Sikh Federation, challenging a notification issued by the Union of India, whereby the voting rights of the Sehajdhari Sikhs had been taken away.

    The Sehajdhari Sikh Federation said that the SGPC’s definition of Sehajdhari Sikhs was unconstitutional and against the teachings of Sikh religion.

    Reacting to the decision taken by the SGPC to define Sehajdhari Sikhs, federation president Paramjeet Singh Ranu said 85 per cent of the total world Sikh population consisted of non-amritdhari Sikhs as of now. He condemned the action of SGPC for declaring non-baptised Sikhs with shorn hairs born in Sikh families as ‘patits’ and alleged the SGPC was playing in the hands of anti-Sikh forces.

    Dr Ranu said the ‘Mahan Kosh’, the encyclopedia of Sikhism defined Sehajdharis at page no 137 as “A person who remains at ease with liberal thought who is an integral part of Sikhs but do not adhere to the amrit and kach-kirpan but believes in the 10 Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib and has no other religion”.

    Dr Ranu said the confusion being created by the SGPC between the patits and Sehajdharis should be cleared, as the patit word was applicable only for the amritdharis. He said whenever an amritdhari violated the amrit code of conduct by any transgression he became patit and had to be rebaptised, but a person who had never been baptised in his life couldn’t be termed as patit as he was Sehajdhari.

    Our mind should be crystal clear to accept the definition of Sikh that a person who believes in 10 Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib and has no other religion is a Sikh and the Sikh who adheres to the five Kakars and adopts initiation of baptism is an amritdhari Sikhs, he added.

    [SOURCE, December 5, 2008 Source: http://www.tribuneindia.com – ADDED BY EDITOR]

  8. I am sorry ,I posted the msg even before completion .
    However, whilst I am on the same page , I would like to know which authority has cut these groups out from being Sikhs . Just take a look around in Malaysia , how many jathedars of Gurdwaras fall in the true bracket of the description stated above .
    I would request Sikhs to visit this page at Iuscansda.com and read articles from Dr Devinder Singh Chahal on how is pleading his case to keep every Sikh on board . it gives the definition of Sikh and how it was coined .
    Secondly ,the Instituion of the 5 Piaras , whilst I note that they exist ,however , that their selection itself is unclear ,with 4 organisations.
    Further reading by Dr Kashmir Singh ,is suggested .
    The SGGS defines who should be a Sikh clearly and without any discrimination .
    There is a lot to be written but perhaps this will suffice for the moment ..
    Your article,is well written.

  9. Dear Brother Gurcharan Singh Ji ,
    Gurfateh
    I am really intrigued by your response to this episode .
    I am not sure even ,I now qualify to sit on any Sikh body as a member or can even be called a Sikh at all.
    I would sincerely like you to go on to do some research on the methodology adopted at arriving on who is a patit ,who is a sehajdhari ,and who is an amritdhari .
    The Gurdwara Delhi act 1925 ,defines a Sikh in accordance with the description stated above .
    I would like to know whether there are any political reasons in the definition of such categories .
    We have Nihang,nirankari Sikhs . We have the sikhligars ,lobanas and vanjaras as Sikhs , who are distinctly cut out out from these definitions .
    Whilst I am

  10. The actions of the Panj Piare recently in Malaysia over the Moshi Moshi club are floored, and can give rise to recognition of the patit element!

    Recently,a formation of panj piare,in Malaysia dished out penance or tankha to a number of people for transgressions of the edicts of the Akal Takht.Among them one was a Sukhwinder Bedi, a patit from Sikh origins, who happens to be the owner and core root of the whole issue.

    Sr Karaminder Singh ‘DHILLON’ writes in the Asia Samachar about why,how and what the purpose of the penance is in Sikh,religion.

    This is something,I too, had pointed out in course of the angry discussions that took place across various cyber media channels and forums.Sikh penance is not to punish, but make the individual generate self realisation of his actions against the teachings of the Sikh Gurus, and Gurbani.

    Interestingly,Karaminder Singh, using a sub caste/surname,Dhillon,pointed out what there was to explain about tankha;but nobody picked up that the whole process was conducted by people who lacked the knowledge and understanding of the Sikh Canon law-maryada of the Sikh faith.Even the panj pare,I am afraid to say.

    The organisations,one of which was the Malaysian Gurduara council,the Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia ;the Niketan and one other all had ERRED big time in this issue.MGC as usual erred;this is the second time MGC erred about a panthic matter.The last they erred about the mini Guru Granth sahib.

    The organisations acted rashly, with some big time “assumed knowledgeable”individuals,asking the close down of the discussion and behind doors settling of the issue and to help cover friends’ reputation!

    But seeing the anger among Sangat,they then moved to be seen to be ‘doing something’They then acted,but wrongly according to the Sikh Law and maryada, exposing their lack of knowledge about Maryada.

    They had no thorough understanding,knowledge,or the rationale skills, about the whole process of maryada.Thier action of summoning the patit club owner now gives rise to recognistion of the patit element in Sikh religion!A VERY BIG mistake and cause for concern in the Sikh Panth, according to Sikh academic.It is worth noting many of tehse from Malaysia are part time hymn singers, who more than often have limited lines of Gurbani tuks which they sing repeatedly, simply like parrots, with no deep understanding of the Gurbani,but helped by many self interpreted understanding!

    I had purposefully chosen to stay silent and observe,who would pick up the flaw of their whole action and process.They panj piares have effectively, supported the recognition of patit element, that is very much of concern , and have helped anti Sikh bodies like RSS and the sehajdhari federation.

    I will invite any of these piare or the organisations involved to show where in the maryada it says they can summon an apostate of the Sikh religion,and give out the penance,and then conduct an ardas?The apostate remains an apostate and had no intention of accepting his mistakes and getting back to the faith.

    To understand this very sensitive and intricate issues, I will refer to the allegation made against Navjot Singh Sidhu, for deforming some Gurbani tuks.

    Under section 3, of the Sikh rehat maryada,it is very clearly stated that no apostate/patit or a tankhayia Sikh can hold an ardas at the Akal takhat.ONLY a fully practising Sikh can hold or conduct their ardas.It is understood that only after an Ardas can can a serving tankhaiya be forgiven.

    The academic logic now arises the question if a patit Sikh cannot hold an ardas,even after asking forgiveness, then how would a patit conduct an ardas at the Akal takhat?

    The Akal Takhat is supreme because Guru Granth sahib resides there. This scenario can be translated to an ordinary Gurduara, still stands as, the SUPREME guru Granth sahib is “hazer nazer” everywhere.
    Thus, the prqctise and directions are a tankhiya Sikh cannot be given penance at the Akal Takhat; neiother can be summoned.

    Former Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti states very clearly, that a patit Sikh cannot be summoned to the Akal takhat, as he does NOT follow the Sikh faith’s diections nor pratices Sikh religion.

    The current Jathedar Gurbachan Singh says, a patit does not follow the unique Hukam of Guru sahib, how can he follow the rest, thus is unadmisable for a tankha, by any Sikh clergy!

    Another former Akal Takhat jathedar, Ranjit Singh says,only dastardhari practising Sikhs, who fully practise the Sikh religion may be summoned to the Akal Takhat.

    Defining a patit [apostate]Ranjit Singh says, they are ‘ those who were born into Kesadhari Sikh families’ but have abandoned their identity, or transgressed by violating the Sikh code, especially shedding of hair!

    Sr Harvinder Singh, Former President of the Delhi Gurduara Management Committee, says, that patits cannot be summoned for tankha, unless they are returning to the faith and promise toi the Guru to abide by their given identity.

    By summoning patits for tankha either to the Akal takhat or anywhere else for transgressing any other code of Sikh religion is meaningless, and this will give rise to recognition of the patit entity with the faith.

    This has now devalued the ardas and whole process of the tankha and maryada .Let us leave this here and see what their explanation and understanding is?

  11. Very well conceptualised and explained;the mistake (offence) and the punishment. Thanks; it certainly has helped me look at this episode as mistake or lapse of judgement .

  12. Thank you, Sardar Karminder for the clear explanation on Sikh Maryada.
    I wholeheartedly agree that the SRM and the Sikh faith itself embodies the spirit of forgiveness and love. I hope we, the Sikh community always keep that in mind in our everyday lives.
    Thank you.

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