Group disrupts Inder Singh Ghagaa programe in Ipoh

A group chanting 'Satnam Waheguru' disrupted a planned speaking engagement by Prof Inder. Later, Ghagaa and gurdwara VP was allegedly attacked

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| Ipoh, Malaysia | 1 March 2017 | Asia Samachar |
LEFT: Prof Inder Singh Ghagaa. Right: A Sikh seemingly heckling down the granthi who tried to speak at the Greentown gurdwara programme, as seen in a video shared on the social media

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.

SEE ALSO: Ipoh gurdwara lodge police report on alleged vandalism, banner burning 

SEE ALSO: Two Sikhs ejected from Lembah Jaya gurdwara

SIMRAN PROTEST: The scene in the Gurdwara Sahib Greentown in Ipoh, Perak, on 1 March 2017 where Prof Inder Singh Ghagaa was supposed to speak

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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2 COMMENTS

  1. I was at the Gurdwara when this happened. I was outside when the assault on ISG and Sardar Jagit Singh took place, but the results were obvious for all to see: they HAD been assaulted.
    Now for the comments:
    “First, Inder Singh Ghagaa (ISG) is banned by Akal Takht, our supreme body, from doing any parchar in gurdwaras …He is also banned from doing parchar in Germany, U.K. and Canada”
    Many have been receiving messages quite to the contrary, that the Akal Takht did not ban ISG. Now we will need to verify that. Bans by Germany, U.K. and Canada carry no weoght here or anywhere else in the world.
    “Secondly, …It would be in direct defiance to Akal Takht order to maintain the sanctity of our gurdwaras. Hence for half and hour only Simran was done by the sanggat.”
    This has been countered by the MGC. So whom do we believe now?
    Fourthly, …the sanggat did Simran for half hour, which was done in gusto and everyone enjoyed and felt at peace.”
    The Simran may have been “done in gusto” if by gusto it means ‘in a loud, belligerent manner’. But it was hardly worthy of being called ‘Simran’. Certainly not everyone enjoyed or felt at peace. It left a bad taste in the mouths of the majority of the local sanggat.
    The sixth point raised is hard to comprehend. It does not fit the scenario as witnessed there. What exactly is meant by “Many of us felt complacent at that time and let down our guard”? Were they there to protect ISG and their complacency allowed Ghagga to be attacked? There is ample video evidence of communication between the alleged assailant and the leaders of the ‘Simran’ group to show the plan. I suppose the police will be investigating that.
    “Seventh, the Akal Takht (AT) is our supreme body and its orders are to be obeyed without question”. This is almost comical. Look around you and see how many violations of the Sikh Reht Maryada (SRM) there are within your own family. I presume the SRM is endorsed by Akal Takht and so SRM violations go against the edicts of the Akal Takht. And when and how did the AT become our “supreme body (whose) orders are to be obeyed without question”?
    We did not get a chance to hear ISG’s views, hearing which would have allowed us to decide whether we agreed with him or not. But somehow the ‘simran’ group knew what it was all about. This is evidenced by the protests via ‘simran’. The proof is provide by the statement “Who is responsible to create all these ill feelings and disharmony among the whole Sikh community living in this country for the last 150 years by introducing new doctrines, home made slogans to rhyme with Gurbani but in reality are against our Sikh Reht Maryada (SRM)”. Rie this up with the banner-burning issue and it’s patently obvious that the protest was against the “Ek granth, ek panth, ek maryada” slogan. Why didn’t Sardar Lakhbir Singh brazenly say as much?
    The writer also said “Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC) has failed, Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (SNSM) has failed, Asia Samachar has failed, Coalition o Malaysian Sikh Organisations (CMSO) has failed, many individuals having leadership positions have failed… only two bodies that are steady as a rock and stand like a mountain and refuse to give in… The two bodies are Sant Attar Singh Ji Brahm Vidya Niketan Malaysia and Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Academy (SGGS Academy). I stand with them…”
    It is amazing that the writer thinks that the many organisations that represent large numbers are wrong and only the 2 which represent a small fraction are right.
    The writer also said “So please do not misunderstand the motives of these two bodies Niketan and SGGS Academy. They work towards the harmony and peace among the whole Sikh community in Malaysia”. The begaviour of the representatives of the 2 organisations that evening was anything but a representation of “work towards the harmony and peace among the whole Sikh community in Malaysia”.

  2. The culprits and instigators behaved like gansgters in Guru Darbar.The world over these criminally low life individuals are being condenmned.

    Even the Dam dami Tksaal speakers have condemned this act instigated by a sri goonda academy.Its days are numbered.

    The person/s who carried out this act should be identified and charged criminally.If it turns out to a “desi “as is being said, he should be pressed deportation to India.

    A small gang of such appears to be in every country.

    Their leader, full of ”man ghart” lies, has been alerted to an Embassy, thus future entrance, on a tourist visa,will now be scrutinised.He has been earning in that country from Trividale Gurduara stage,and not declaring, flouting the HRMC, Employment and immigration rules,and spreading terrorist ideology has been communicated to the embassy officials.Videos of him speaking from stage of Trividale Gurduara has been sent along.

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