By Darshan Singh Dhillon
I refer to the recent incident where a perfectly legitimate Gurmat Parchar session slotted to take place at Gurdwara Sahib Sungai Petani was inconsiderately disrupted by a group of individuals, depriving another’s quest of divine knowledge in the process.
If on previous occasion the holy Darbar Sahib was hijacked, before turban/s were removed and beard pulled at Gurdwara Sahib Greentown in Ipoh, this time it went a step further where the Immigration department was dragged in on a complaint that parcharaks
(preachers) in attendance were on social visit pass and therefore cannot be allowed to speak in the Gurdwara. This group conveniently forgot that all parcharaks or ragi jathas who come into Malaysia, do so on a social visit pass.
Using social visit pass as an issue to stop a legitimate Gurmat Parchar session is rather unfortunate and sets a very dangerous precedence against advancement of Sikhi in Malaysia. The looming question is if we should now start applying for correct sector permit before bringing in parcharaks or ragi jatha/s into the country to avoid similar situation from occurring? Who will be the ultimate loser should this procedure become part of future regulatory requirement?
It is not at all wrong to have a different belief or opinion but this definitely does not give anyone the right to force others to subscribe to one’s opinion or belief. I am sure there were members of sanggat (congregation) who came to seek enlightenment on Gurbani but ultimately had to leave frustrated due to this selfish actions of a few.
No one has a right to stop Sikhi parchar when the parcharak/s in attendance limits themselves to shabads of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and conducts their session within the approved parameters of the Sikh Rahat Maryada (SRM). It is incumbent of parbhandaks (gurdwara management committee) of a Gurdwara to ensure that this happens before any parchar session is allowed to proceed, acting without fear or favour. If there arises any doubt, the leadership of Malaysia Gurdwaras Council (MGC), which is a legitimate Gurdwaras representative body, should be consulted for guidance.
We have to agree that freedom of expression is a guaranteed right but we must also remember that this right must be exercised carefully ensuring that it does not leave a long term negative impact on our society. We must check our emotions or risk shooting ourselves in the foot!
I congratulate the organisers of the Gyan Pargaas Semagam for a job well done and pray that Waheguru Ji showers strength and energy upon the team to continue, fearlessly. Gurfateh!
* This is the opinion of the writer, organisation or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar. Readers are welcome to have their say. See the note below.
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MGC on ‘shameful episode’ at Sungai Petani gurdwara (Asia Samachar, 20 Sept 2016)
Refrain arguments with fools (Asia Samachar, 20 Sept 2016)
Missionary parcharaks have been doing parchar in Malaysia since Sikhs arrived in this country (Asia Samachar, 19 Sept 2017)
Three young Sikh preachers to cover 21 Malaysian gurdwaras (Asia Samachar, 13 Sept 2017)
Group disrupts Inder Singh Ghagaa programe in Ipoh (Asia Samachar, 1 March 2017)
Fake Gurus (Asia Samachar, 6 Sept 2016)
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