| Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 21 April 2016 | Asia Samachar |
MGC has requested Gurdwara Sahib Titiwangsa, a gurdwara in Kuala Lumpur where the ‘Akaal Ustat Semagam’ is to be held for three-days starting tomorrow, to reconsider its permission.
The programme is organised by the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Academy (SGGS Academy), a Kuala Lumpur-based Sikh organisation that conducts study circles on the GGS.
In a letter dated 7 April 2016 to GS Titiwangsa, MGC noted that in many gurdwaras abroad where such ‘Dasam Granth’ semagams were oganised it resulted in conflicts and disruptive activities leading to incidents of violence.
“The MGC is therefore gravely concerned that a similar situation may arise Malaysia leading to disunity in the Sikh Sanggat, which should be avoided at all costs,” MGC president Jagir Singh said in the letter.
A copy of the letter was made available to Asia Samachar.
“The gurdwara has yet to respond to the letter,” Jagir told Asia Samachar when contacted today.
GS Titiwangsa is a member of the MGC, an umbrella body for some 108 gurdwaras in Malaysia.
When contacted, GS Titiwangsa secretary Sudarshan Singh confirmed that the committee had yet to discuss the MGC letter.
At the time of writing, Titiwangsa gurdwara management committee (GMC) president Paviter Singh and the SGGS Academy had yet to to respond queries on the matter.
Dasam Granth, which is projected as the writings of the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, has been a controversial topic in the Sikh world. Some quarters claim it to be the writing of the Guru, while other quarters dispute the claim. Akaal Ustat is supposed to be one of the writings in the Dasam Granth.
Among others, the three-day programme by SGGS Academy includes a seminar entitled ‘Sri Dasam Granth: Facts Beyond Doubt’ and katha (discourse) on the the Dasam Granth.
When contacted, a local lay preacher Dr Karminder Singh said he was in support of the letter where MGC has called on Titiwangsa GMC to abide by the stipulations of the Sikh Rehat Maryada (SRM) with regards to what is allowed for kirten and katha in a gurdwara programme.
“The issue is not about discussing. Scholars and researchers on both sides of the divide (for and against Akall Ustat) do it all the time.
“This semagam at Titiwangsa aims to sing this composition in kirtan form and to do its katha in the diwan in the presence of the sangat and in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. This is not right,” he said in response to queries from Asia Samachar.
He added that the composition was not in the SGGS.
“It is not sanctioned as Kirtan and Katha in the sangat in the diwan. The SRM is clear – Kirtan and Katha only from SGGS, Bhai Gurdas jji and Bhai Nand Lal Ji,” he said in a text reply.
“So the issue is over the contravention of SRM and established maryada of Kirtan and Katha in the sangat. The issue is over an attempt to ‘smuggle’ this controversial composition into the maryada of Kirtan and Katha in the Gurdwara under the disguise of ‘discussing’ it.”
In a related matter, the MGC has also questioned the so-called ‘endorsement’ of the programme by the Sri Akaal Takht Jathedar via a video clip.
In a statement to Asia Samachar, the MGC commented on the video clip which has been widely circulated via the social media amongst the Malaysian Sanggat. It shows the Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht purpotedly endorsing the programme, applauding the SGGS Academy for the effort.
In its statement, MGC states: “The Akaal Takht Jathedar clearly stated that the programme is of Kirtan and Katha of SGGS Ji di Bani and Nitnem dian Bania Kiti Janeh hai. The Akaal Takht Jathedar did not even once mention ‘Dasam Granth’ or Akaal Ustat. The sanggat will be aware that right from the first SMS sent regarding the programme and followed by flyers all mentiond about ‘Dasam Granth’ and ‘Akaal Ustat’ di Katha and Kirtan. Was Akaal Takht Jathedar informed of this?”
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