| Opinion | 12 Jan 2017 | Asia Samachar |
By Karminder Singh PhD (Boston).
What we feared has finally happened. An organization has eventually laid bare its true agenda. A gurdwara in Kuala Lumpur and its sanggat became the first casualty of a disastrous journey down a slippery slope towards blasphemy.
I am referring to the recent act of installation of the disputed Bachitar Natak (Book of Strange Drama) in the presence of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (SGGS) at Gurdwara Sahib Titiwangsa during a program organised by the erroneously named Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Academy.
Any which way one sees it, it is an act of gross blasphemy to the sanctity and spiritual sacredness of our Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
The Panth Parvanit (accepted) and Akal Takht (AT) sanctioned Sikh Rehat Maryada (SRM) is unequivocally clear in its stipulation regarding the SOLE authority and COMPLETE sacrosancity of the SGGS as our ONE and ONLY Guru who sits on the throne of Sikh Spirituality in the Darbar.
The fifth stipulation under Section 4 titled Gurdwaras on page 13 of the SRM reads:
sRIgurUgRMQswihbjIdyvwkr (qul) iksypusqknUMAsQwpnnhINkrnw[
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Dey Vakar (Tul) Kisey Pustak Nu Asthapan Nahin Karna.
Translation: No other book may be installed in the presence of the SGGS.
The underlying principles are clear. The Gurdwara is the Darbar (Court) of our Spiritual Emperor which is the SGGS ji. There can be, and always is, and always shall be ONLY ONE Emperor in any court at any one time.
The attempt to install ANY OTHER entity in the same Court is an act of treason, betrayal and treachery. In the spiritual sense it is an act of blasphemy. Such acts are the hallmark of traitors whose loyalty lies elsewhere. No Emperor would tolerate such sedition and betrayal.
Hence the clear stipulation in the SRM – NO OTHER BOOK MAY BE INSTALLED.
At the time of the creation of SRM, the other book being alluded to was Bachittar Natak. Since the name of Bahitar Natak had been changed eight times and more changes were expected, the words “No Other Book” were deemed suitable to cover all such name change eventualities.
THE TREACHERY OF IT ALL
The installation of the Bachitar Natak at Gurdwara Titiwangsa was done under the pretext of a normal Gurdwara program to celebrate the 350th Parkash Utshav of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
A copy of the disputed Bachitar Natak was surreptitiously placed in the Sukhasan Room of the SGGS sometime prior to the program, and stored presumably on the same asan as the SGGS ji.
Then under the second pretext of showing a “historical” copy of the Bachitar Natak, the blasphemous act was committed with blatant disregard for the sanctity of the SGGS.
A Manjee, complete with pillows and cushions, was placed on the kirtan stage. One person carried the Bachitar Natak – fully wrapped up in white sukhasan cloth – on his head, with another following with Chaur waiving.
The Bachitar Natak was placed on the Manjee. The individual then bowed (metha tekna) to the Bachitar Natak – his head touching the floor. The opening of the book was then conducted. The palkan (side rumalas) were installed. And the main rumala was placed over it. All along the Chaur was waived.
The installation of a rival to the SGGS ji was thus deceitfully accomplished.
The sangat appeared to have been caught by surprise. The portion of sanggat (congregation) that constituted as members and supporters of the Academy may have been on it. In any event the Sanggat sat passive and bore witness to the highest act of blasphemy in front of their eyes.
The treachery was complete. The blasphemy had taken place. But there was more to come.
ENSURING THE LEGACY OF THE BLASPHEMY.
The speaker from the Academy then went on to provide the fraudulent “maryada” of the “parkash of Sri Dasam Granth” as practiced in the Lakhee Janggal Dera – one of the many deras where such blasphemy is conducted on a daily basis.
He says that the “Dasam Granth is always parkash on the left of the SGGS.” He goes on to say “it is always installed a few inches lower than the platform of the SGGS.”
It was a conniving attempt to “legitimize” something blasphemous. He makes it appear that “the rules of parkash” of BachitarNatak are the norm in Gurdwaras across the Sikh world.
The narrative laid bare the ultimate agenda of the Academy. Clearly and in no uncertain terms. The dubious “maryada” was stated with a pre-determined purpose: which is that the Bachitar Natak can and ought to be installed in our local Gurdwaras.
The dubious “maryada” was stated with another pre-determined purpose: that all Malaysian Gurdwaras can end their spiritual loyalty to the ONE and ONLY SGGS, and install the rival Bachittar Natak.
THE COVER IS FINALLY BLOWN
This was no attempt to display any “historical” copy of the disputed Bachitar Natak. It was also not a narrative of the so called “maryada” of a dera. It was a tutorial on how to install the Bachitar Natak. How to do its “parkash” at your local Gurdwara.
It was a ‘HOW TO” lesson. How to go back to your Gurdwara and repeat the blasphemy of Titiwangsa when the opportunity arises.
It was an instruction lecture on how to install Bachitar Natak as the second entity in the Court of the SGGS ji.
It was a coaching session on how to make a mockery of the clear stipulation in the SRM that says NO OTHER book can be installed in the presence of the SGGS ji.
It was a preparation session on how to justify this blatant act when questioned by enlightened and awakened members of the sangat.
CREATING SMOKE SCREENS.
The fall-out has been fast and severe. The Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC) issued a strong condemnation of the act, promising more severe follow-up action.
Gurdwaras have put their committees and sangats on alert. The direction and advice from MGC is eagerly awaited for Gurdwaras to initiate their own actions against the Academy.
In the quest to blur the glaring act of blasphemy and to pull wool over the eyes of Malaysian Sikhs, the Academy and its apologists have spun arguments that qualify as hogwash. Some of their claims are as follows:
- No disrespect whatsoever was shown to the SGGS.
The Academy and its blasphemy-supporting people must surely have a distorted understanding of “disrespect.”
Installing a disputed book – large portions of which are against the teachings of the SGGS and cannot even be read out aloud in the sanggat due to its graphic sexual content – is not mere disrespect. It is an act of treachery, disloyalty, and treason.
- There was no chandowa over the Bachittar Natak, they say.
Such a lame excuse sounds like the infamous and immoral former president of a country who said he smoked marijuana a lot but did not inhale.
What about the multitude of acts that are reserved ONLY for the SGGS that were carried out on this disputed book. What about the fact that it was carried on someone’s head – an act reserved on for our SGGS? What about it being wrapped as SGGS is, and subjected to Chaur Sewa as the SGGS is?
What about the fact that the Bachittar Natak was installed with palkan and rumaley as the SGGS is, and bowed down to IN THE PRESENCE OF THE SGGS?
- It was taken away after a short while. No permanent “parkash” was undertaken.
What is left unsaid is the fact that this is a PRELUDE to a permanent installation. It is to mentally PREPARE our sanggats to accept the dubious book as well as it its equally dubious installation.
This prelude is meant to CONDITION the sanggat that WHEN a permanent installation is sought, it would not be such a shocker.
It is to set a PRECEDENT, so that other Gurdwaras can say “but it was done in Titiwangsa Gurdwara” so “what is the biggie in our Gurdwara?”
- No one should have the audacity to question our respect for the Guru.
What the Academy truly wants to say is “No one should have the audacity to question our DISRESPECT to the Guru.”
Enlightened Sikhs will rise to the occasion and ensure that such agendas are not realised. Blasphemy does not take away audacity, it fuels it.
- People have used the Chaur over the sandals of Mata Gujri ji so whats the biggie over Chaur being waived of the Bachitar Natak?
Trying to justify a mistake with a previous one is the trademark of twisted minds. But by comparison, however, the mistake of doing Chaur over the slippers may be one that is the result of ignorance.
But the use of Chaur over a disputed book was blasphemy that was pre-meditated.
THE OPPOSITION TO EK GRANTH
IN the months leading to blasphemous installation of the Bachitar Naatak at Gurdwara Titiwangs, the Academy and its apologists carried out vicious, rabid, and venomous opposition to the Ek Granth, Ek Panth, Ek Maryada initiative of Malaysian Sikh sanggats led by the MGC.
Two individuals tried to disrupt a Ek Granth program at a local Gurdwara. One stood up in the diwan pretending to ask questions while the Ek Granth katha was ongoing. When asked to sit down by the sangat, a second one stoop up and mouthed vulgarites in the sangat.
An attempted assault on one of the Ek Granth parcharaks by flinging a brick at the car was subsequently undertaken.
Attempts were made to disrupt Ek Granth forums, diwans and katha at two other Gurdwaras – in Ipoh and Selangor. The attempts fizzled out, but not before laying bare the agenda of the Bachitar Natak apologists.
The agenda is now crystal clear.
We are now clear why its apologists were hell bent on disrupting Ek Granth launches, sessions and katha programs.
We are now also clear why the apologists resorted to using depraved methods involving threats and slander of EK Granth parcharaks and MGC leaders on fake ID facebook accounts.
We are further clear as to why the apologists tried so desperately to physically disrupt and stop Ek Granth progams organised by Gurdwara committees and sanggats.
We are finally clear why at least one desperate soul tried to take down the Ek Granth banners posted in 120 gurdwaras nationwide.
We are clear that the above mentioned tactics were methods of desperation undertaken to PREPARE for the installation of the OTHER book – Bachitar Natak.
THE ROLE OF PATNA CLERGY IN THE BLASPHEMY
The blasphemous act at Titiwangsa was timed to fit into a global agenda to install the rival Bachitar Natak in as many Gurdwaras worldwide as possible during the 350th Celebration of the Parkash Utsav of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
There were seminars, talks and workshops on Bachitar Natak. There was a Nagar Kirtan in Mumbai with the Bachitar Natak being placed within a palki, complete with rumalley and chaur sewa.
But most notable is the issuance of a “hukumnamma” by the clergy of Patna – mandating that the Bachitar Natak (renamed Dasam Granth) be installed at local Gurdwaras.
Enlightened Sikhs are aware that the clergy of Patna have no authority to issue any “hukumnama”. Only the Akal Takht has the authority to issue edicts of any kind. And that, too, is prescribed by the provisions of the Sikh Reht Maryada (SRM) and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) protocol.
Enlightened Sikhs are also aware that the clergy of Patna is in gross violation of the Constitution of the Panth – the SRM. Transgressors forfeit the right to advise and dictate to others. They are, therefore, best ignored.
THE PATNA “HUKUMNAMA” AS A TOOL FOR ANTI SIKH FORCES
Notwithstanding all the above, the so called “hukumnama” of the Patna clergy was timed and issued with a conniving purpose.
The anti-SGGS agenda constituted the world wide installation of the Bachitar Natak by DEVIOUS means on the 5th of January as Parkash Utsav of our Tenth Guru. OPPOSITION and RESISTANCE from Sikhs worldwide was to be naturally expected.
The Patna “hukumnama” was the tool to rebut the enlightened Sikhs. It was meant to be read out, posted widely, and used to SILENCE any and all Sikhs who opposed the installation of the Bachitar Natak.
The 5th of January was supposed to have been a D-day for Sikhs across the world. Sikhs in as many Gurdwaras possible were to be greeted with a rival Granth installed side by side the SGGS as they turned up in the morning to celebrate the Parkash Utsav of their beloved Guru.
Many were expected to oppose the “overnight installation” of Bachitar Natak in their Gurdwaras. The proponents of Bachitar Natak would then take to the stage and read out the Patna Clergy issued “hukumnama” that sanctioned the installation of the rival Granth. This modus operandi is seen recorded and posted on Youtube relating at least one UK Gurdwara.
In Malaysia, one can only thank the MGC for its swift condemnation and written advise to Gurdwaras nationwide to be on the alert.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO HALT THE AGENDA OF TWO GRANTHS TWO PANTHS TWO MARYADAS.
The MGC must rise to the occasion to provide leadership to the Malaysian Gurdwaras and Sanggats and to hold the Academy accountable for its divisive acts.
The Coalition must step up its efforts to educate the Malaysian sanggats regarding the Leadership of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.
Gurdwaras across the country are called upon to hold EK GRANTH EK PANTH AND EK MARYADA diwans and programs for their local sangats. The MGC provides parcharaks, material and advice in this regard. Many Gurdwaras have already done so and are thus safe from the problem of a rival granth.
The sangats must stand up to defend the SOLE authority and sanctity of the SGGS ji in their respective Gurdwaras. Under no circumstances should any sanggat allow a rival granth to be displayed, installed or treated like the SGGS in the presence of the SGGS.
EKA BANI EK GUR EKO SHABAD VICHAAR should be the guiding principle of every Sikh.
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 based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of the Asia Samachar.
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