By Autar Singh
Out of the scheduled and confirmed 16 Gyan Pargaas Semagams (GPS) till Monday 18 September 2017, 15 programmes have been well received by the sanggat, parbandhaks and Granthi Singhs of those Gurduaras where they were held. The programme in the Sungai Petani Gurduara was abandoned as the youth group and some members of the sanggat objected to having the programme there, despite the programme being confirmed by the management committee.
When we arrived at the Sungai Petani Gurduara Sahib for the programme, we were met by the youth group and told that we can have tea, but we were not allowed to hold the programme as they felt that the speakers were going to talk against the truth that they believed in.
I requested that they all listen to the speakers talk, and if they find anything objectionable, then they can go ahead and stop the programme and we will move on. They said they are not going to allow the speaker to speak in their Gurduara at all.
The Sungai Petani gurdwara management committee president told us that the committee has set the programme and it will go on. We then went into the langar hall to have tea while the committee tried to reason with the other group not to block the programme.
The Police, Special Branch and Immigration were called. We were asked to wait while matters were being discussed.
Finally, after about 90 minutes, I was called into the meeting room. The immigration officer advised me not to go ahead with the programme as there was strong objection to it. We then left for Kulim where the sangat and youth welcomed us.
It is very unfortunate and sad that some of us are not prepared to listen to explanations of gurbani and decide for ourselves what is right, instead depending on hearsay.
I have thanked the youth group for not resorting to violence and manhandling the parcharaks (preachers) as happened elsewhere in Malaysia in March. However, I am disappointed with their objection to the programme even before listening to what the speakers had to share on gurbani. They not only deprived themselves of a good session of gurbani discourse, as enjoyed by the sanggat of 12 Gurduaras before Sungai Petani, but they also deprived many others who had come to enjoy the satsang.
Missionary parcharaks, as opposed to derawadi parcharaks (preachers from deraa), have been doing parchar in Malaysia since Sikhs arrived in this country. They are not a new phenomenon. They have been well received all this while. The vilification and opposition to these parcharaks started from last year. This is now a worldwide phenomenon where speakers who uphold the supremacy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji and the Sikh Reht Maryada (SRM) are being heckled, assaulted, shot at, having their turbans removed and beards pulled off and prevented from speaking and sharing the truth of gurbani.
May we be blessed with wisdom and a discerning mind to sift the grains from the chaff when listening to discourses and try to read and understand gurbani ourselves.
The organisers of the Gyan Pargaas Semagams gratefully acknowledge the support rendered by the sanggat and management committees of all Gurduaras who stood, and are standing, firmly beside us, to promote and host these and future such gurbani discourses, despite the challenges. Thank you very much.
On behalf of the Organising Team
GYAN PARGAAS SEMAGAMS, MALAYSIA
14-27 September 2017
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Three young Sikh preachers to cover 21 Malaysian gurdwaras (Asia Samachar, 13 Sept 2017)
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