| Ipoh, Malaysia | 1 March 2017 | Asia Samachar |
A group of Sikhs, largely from Kuala Lumpur, disrupted a lecture session by author and preacher Prof Inder Singh Ghagaa at an Ipoh gurdwara gurdwara this evening (1 March 2017) by loudly chanting ‘Satnam Waheguru’ in the darbar sahib.
Towards the end of the session at Gurdwara Sahib Greentown, a few youth were alleged to have attacked the speaker and a gurdwara official.
“After degh, some youth attacked one gurdwara official, causing his turban to be removed.
“Another attacked Ghagaa, pulling his beard and also causing his turban to be removed,” one eye witness told Asia Samachar in a telephone conversation.
The official was Greentown gurdwara management committee (GMC) deputy president Jagjit Singh.
“The programme was disrupted by the group that was largely from Kuala Lumpur,” the eye witness said.
Prof Ghaghaa, a author of more than 20 Sikh-related books, was formerly a personal assistant to Akal Takht Jathedaar Manjit Singh for eight years and has been doing Gurmat parchaar for over 40 years. His views on the Sikh faith, which flies in the face of the interpretation of some Sikh groups, have caused the ire of these groups and invited criticism.
In Malaysia, some of the criticism has been directed at the Ek Granth Ek Panth ek Maryada slogan floated by the Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MC). These quarters perceive the slogan an affront to the Dasam Granth, a compilation of work formerly known as Bachitar Natak and attributed to Guru Gobind Singh, a claim disputed by some scholars.
Greentown was also the gurdwara where a group of Sikh youth had removed a MGC banner promoting the Ek Granth Ek Panth ek Maryada programme series and later burnt it at the gurdwara’s car park. The same group had uploaded a video of the them removing and burning the banner on Youtube prompting the gurdwara to lodge a police report.
The police report was lodged by Jagjit, one of the persons attacked in today’s incident.
The gathered Sikhs also did not allow the gurdwara stage secretary, managed by Greentown GMC secretary Daaljit Singh, to proceed with announcements.
Days before the speaking engagement, the social media amongst the local Sikhs in Malaysia was abuzz with calls to march towards the Greentown gurdwara, prompting the gurdwara to release a letter trying to calm the mood.
“It has come to our attention that some malicious lies are being circulated about Professor Ji. There is no any record of Bhai Sahib being banned by any country, Akaal Takhat or Gurdwaras that are aligned with Akaal Takhat. All that said is not verified.
“Gurdwara Sahib Greentown is affliated with Sikh Rehat Maryada and hereby fully endorses Professor Inderjit Singh Ghagga to deliver the talk. Any transgression against Gurmat and or Gurbani will be dealt with accordingly solely by the management committee,” the gurdwara sain the letter, a copy of which was seen by Asia Samachar.
Some senior officials of some local Sikh organisations, including from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Academy and Sant Attar Singh Ji Brahm Vidya Niketan Malaysia, were amongst those present at the gurdwara, as seen in video circulating after the event and also according to eye witness accounts.
Prof Ghagaa is scheduled to speak next at Gurdwara Sahib Seremban (3 March, Friday, 7.30pm-8.30pm).
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
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