Upstart youth leader Amritpal Singh removes and burns gurdwara benches

Amritpal Singh’s followers remove and burn benches from a Jalandhar gurdwara on Dec 13, 2022

By Jarnail Singh Arshi | Opinion |

ਆਪਨ ਸੁਆਇ ਕਰਹਿ ਬਹੁ ਬਾਤਾ, ਤਿਨਾ ਕਾ ਵਿਸਾਹੁ ਕਿਆ ਕੀਜੈ (Āpan su ā e karahi baho bāṯā ṯinā kā visāhu ki ā kījai). Those who speak (with forked tongues based on self-interest or self-promoting agendas) cannot be trusted.

The Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS), composed by 35 God-oriented persons of the highest integrity, does not mince words – especially Bhagats Kabir Ji, Bhagat Ravidass Ji and Bhagat Namdev Ji. They are brutally frank.

The latest controversy to spring up in the Punjab is the rapid rise of AmritPal Singh, a scion of a trucking family with logistics interests in Dubai and who was clean shaven and not at all interested either in education or his family business. He had a born-again-moment and returned to Punjab to take over the radical party Waris Punjab De (The  Heirs of Punjab) of Deep Sidhu.

If you remember, Sidhu was involved in the ill-fated raising of the Khalistan/Nishan Sahib Flag on Red Fort during the farmers’ movement large demonstrations in Delhi to repeal the ill-thought through farm laws hastily rammed through by the Narendra Modi administration. Deep Sidhu died in a tragic Valentine’s Day motor accident on a major highway from Delhi to Punjab.

Anyway, the newly minted heir returned form Dubai, to don the turban of honour bestowed by the Damdami Taksal, once led by Jarnail Singh Bhinderawala. He then began a Khalsa march to touch base all over Punjab villages.

At a visit to Gurdwara Singh Sabha in Model Town, Jalandhar, on Dec 13, 2022, Amritpal’s followers took offense at the presence of benches placed along the walls of the gurdwaras. These were meant for the elderly sangat (congregation) members who have knee pains or related issues preventing them sitting cross legged as with other sangat members in a Gurdwara darbar where SGGS is parkashed on an elevated platform. The reasoning was that these elderly are “challenging” the SGGS authority by being seated “higher” than other sangat when the ONLY HIGHER entity should be the SGGS (Guru). The followers then removed the sofas and chairs and burnt them in the gurdwara compound after declaring them contaminated by sinners. This action obviously raised a storm as such benches are common in many gurdwaras and in the diaspora. Elderly Sikhs do  actually represent a large number as similar demographics among the general population everywhere.

Several issues spring to mind.


“Challenge” to Authority versus “disability” based seating. This needs to be logically addressed. Challenge to authority is done by a single person who intends to usurp the legitimate authority. This was attempted by Khem Singh Bedi, a direct descendant of Guru Nanak Ji who insisted on being seated in front and at the same level as the SGGS, on a cushion with backrest. He was stopped by the Singh Sabha Movement leader Gyani Ditt Singh who was subsequently excommunicated (presumably as he upset those in authority as Khem Singh actually went on to form a rival to Singh Sabha). 

Common members of the sangat who are allocated common benches attached to the sidewalls or the back of the Darbar Halls.They seat there due to disabilities such as knee pain, knee replacement, back pain, etc. How could this motley group of unrelated persons be declared as “challenging the authority/sanctity of SGGS? I am pretty sure majority of them would jump at the chance to join the regular cross-legged sangat if cured of their disability ! 

On public transport, we have “preferred seating” for the women, disabled and pregnant woman. No one treats that as “privileged” or attempt to show they have more authority over the regular fare paying healthy traveller. In fact many able persons actually STAND UP to give their seats to such “disabled” persons out of sheer courtesy and human kindness. Are we Sikhs claiming SARBATT DA BHALA so loudly and can’t even practise human decency? Kindness towards our own elderly?


Are we ignoring the example set by our Gurus? Guru Arjun Ji constructed the Darbar Sabib Amritsar and there is a GALLERY on the 1st floor. It overlooks the Darbar where SGGS is parkashed on floor level (at the same level as all seated sangat/kirtaniyahs, etc. The gallery overlooking this actually has people seated, walking, standing and looking down at the SGGS and the Sangat seated below! Are not all those on the gallery actually HIGHER than the SGGS and sangat below ?? If Guru Arjun ji has no objections, then why do we object?


Now we come to the kursee..or “seats” that we should be GETTING RID OF. These are kursees of the powerful: pardhas, golak (collection) custodians, the Takhats, the Management Committees who once allowed to “sit” never let go until death does them part. These seats of corruption are the ones to be removed and BURNT. If we were to ask SGGS, that is what we are told. Takhtan the behann Takhat de lain! ONLY those WORTHY of those SEATS should be allowed to occupy them! (As I said brutally frank, Rajjeh sheehn mukaddam kutteh declares SGGS..The Kings/Rulers are hungry lions and their Civil services are Rabid DOGS…..Rabid dogs who help the hungry lions to devovur the poor citizens!

Now the million dollar question? Do the Waris Punjab De Heirs of Punjab and Amritpal Singh target these hungry lions and rabid dogs? The answer is obvious: They don’t.

The Singh Sabha movement in the beginning of the 20th century actually targetted those hungry lions and rabid dogs occupying the seats of power and who ignored the SGGS totally. And the rsult was many gurdwars were cleansed of these power hungry corrupt leaders and mahant. It is time to begin a Singh Sabha Movement 2.0 to do that spring cleaning again and this task requires a Hercules cleaning out the Augeon stables. Not a rabble rouser looking for populist solutions. And even more ridiculous arguments like asking Sangat should sit lower than the Guru, hence they should sit in holes dug in the floor of Darbar Sahibs.

ਕੁਰਸੀਆਂ ਦਾ ਵਿਰੋਧ ਕਰੋ, ਜ਼ਰੂਰ ਕਰੋ, ਪਰ ਕਿਹਨਾਂ ਦਾ ਜਿਨਾ ਤੇ ਬੈਠ ਲੋਕ ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਿਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਆਪਣੀ ਮਾਲਕਿਅਤ ਦੱਸਦੇ ਨੇ।  ਨਵੇਂ ਜਥੇਦਾਰ ਦੇ ਅੰਨ੍ਹੇ ਭਗਤ, ਆ ਫੋਟੋਆਂ ਅੱਖਾਂ ਖੋਲ ਕੇ ਵੇਖੋ, ਇਹ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਦਰਬਾਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਦੀਆਂ ਫੋਟੋਆਂ ਨੇ ਉੱਪਰਲੀ ਗੈਲਰੀ ਧਿਆਨ ਨਾਲ ਸੋਚੋ ਵਿਚਾਰੋ,

ਹੇਠਾਂ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਸੰਗਤਾਂ ਉੱਪਰ ਖੜੀਆਂ ਵੀ ਨੇ ਤੇ ਬੈਠ ਦੀਆਂ ਵੀ ਹਨ , ਕਿ ਇਹ ਸੰਗਤਾਂ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਦੀ ਬੇਅਦਬੀ ਕਰ ਰਹੀਆਂ ਹਨ ?

ਕੀ ਇਹ ਸਾਰੀਆਂ ਸੰਗਤਾਂ ਗੁਰੂ ਦੀਆਂ ਸ਼ਰੀਕ ਹਨ, ਜੇ ਕੋਈ ਕੁਰਸੀ ਸੋਫੇ ਤੇ ਬੈਠ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਉਹ ਤੇ ਫਿਰ ਵੀ ਥੱਲੇ ਹੀ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਪਰ ਆ ਤੇ ਉੱਪਰ ਹਨ ਇਹਨਾਂ ਬਾਰੇ ਕੀ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਹੈ ਫਿਰ, ਤੁਹਾਡੇ ਵਰਗਿਆਂ ਦਾ ਜ਼ੋਰ ਚੱਲੇ ਤੁਸੀਂ ਤੇ ਗੈਲਰੀ ਵੀ ਢਾਹ ਦੇਵੋ।

ਚੰਗੀ ਗੱਲ ਹੈ ਨਸ਼ਿਆਂ ਦਾ ਤਿਆਗ ਕਰਵਾਉਣਾ ਤੇ ਕਰਨਾ ਪਰ ਕੌਮ ਨੂੰ ਖਾਨਾਜੰਗੀ ਵਾਲੇ ਨਵੇਂ ਜਥੇਦਾਰ ਧੱਕ ਰਹੇ ਹਨ ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦਾ ਸਹਾਰਾ ਬਣੇ ਨੇ ਅਣਜਾਣ ਪੁਣੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਸਾਡੇ ਹੀ ਕੁਝ ਨੌਜਵਾਨ, ਜਿੰਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦੇ ਸਿਧਾਂਤ ਦੀ ਕੋਈ ਸਮਝ ਨਹੀਂ ਤੇ ਮਹਾਰਾਜ ਦੇ ਸਤਿਕਾਰ ਦੇ ਨਾਂ ਤੇ ਭੜਕਾ ਕੇ ਕੌਮੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਦਾ ਨਾਮ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਜਾ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ। ਨੌਜਵਾਨ ਵੀਰੋ ਹੋਸ਼ ਨਾਲ ਤੇ ਦਿਮਾਗ ਨੂੰ ਠੰਢਾ ਰੱਖਣ ਕੇ ਗੱਲਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਸੋਚੋ ਵਿਚਾਰੋ।

ਸਤਿਕਾਰ ਦੇ ਨਾਮ ਉੱਤੇ ਗੁੰਮਰਾਹ ਨਾ ਹੋਵੋ , ਬਾਣੀ ਪੜ੍ਹੋ ਵਿਚਾਰੋ ਜੀਵਨ ਉੱਚਾ ਸੁੱਚਾ ਬਣਾਉਣ ਲਈ ਯਤਨਸ਼ੀਲ ਹੋਈਏ ਆਪਣੀ ਕਿਰਤ ਮਿਹਨਤ ਕਰੀਏ।

ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਪਾਲ ਦੀ ਵਹੀਰ 7 ਤਰੀਕ ਨੂੰ ਬਿਹਾਰੀਪੁਰ ਜਿਲਾ ਕਪੂਰਥਲਾ ਪਹੁੰਚੀ।

ਗੁਰਦੂਆਰਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਚ ਸਮਾਧ ਹੋਣ ਦੇ ਬਾਵਜੂਦ ਉੱਥੇ ਕੋਈ ਕਾਰਵਾਈ ਕਰਨ ਤੋਂ ਬਗੈਰ ਹੀ ਵਹੀਰ ਨੇ ਉਥੋਂ ਚਾਲੇ ਪਾ ਲਏ ।

8 ਦਸੰਬਰ ਨੂੰ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਪਾਲ ਵਹੀਰ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਕਾਲਾਸੰਘਿਆ ਦੇ ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਾ ਕਾਹਨ ਦਾਸ  ਪਹੁੰਚਿਆ ।

ਉਥੇ ਕਾਹਨ ਦਾਸ ਦਾ ਬੁੱਤ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਦੇ ਬਰਾਬਰ ਪੂਜਿਆ ਜਾ ਰਿਹੈ ਤੇ ਗੁਰਦੂਆਰਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਦੇ ਬਾਹਰਲੇ ਹਾਤੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਸ਼ਰਾਬ ਵੀ ਚੜਦੀ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਸ਼ਰਾਬ ਦਾ ਨਿੱਤ ਦਿਨ ਚੱਲਦਾ ਹੈ।

ਆਪਣਾ ਭਾਸ਼ਣ ਝਾੜ ਕੇ ਵਹੀਰ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਅਮ੍ਰਿਤਪਾਲ ਖੋਜੇਵਾਲ 9 ਤਰੀਕ ਪਹੁੰਚਣ ਦਾ ਐਲਾਨ ਕਰਕੇ ਚਲਾ ਗਿਆ

ਸੰਗਤ ਮੂੰਹ ਦੇਖਦੀ ਰਹੀ ਗਈ ਤੇ ਕਹਿ ਰਹੀ ਸੀ ਕਿ ਦੋਨੋ਼ਂ ਥਾਂ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਦੀ ਹੋ ਰਹੀ ਬੇਅਦਬੀ ਬਾਰੇ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਪਾਲ ਕਿਉਂ ਨਹੀ ਬੋਲਿਆ?

(ਸ਼੍ਰੋਮਣੀ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਪੰਚਾਇਤ)

ਬੋਲਦਾ ਵੀ ਕਿਉਂ?

ਉਸਦਾ ਏਜੰਡਾ ਅਜੇ ਵੀ ਕਈਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਸਮਝ ਨਹੀਂ ਆ ਰਿਹਾ।

Majority still unaware of the REAL agenda behind the Waris Punjab De Vaheer procession.

Here are some glaring spotlights conveniently overlooked.

First, the village Bihareepur, Kapurthala has a huge samad (grave ) inside the Gurdwara. It has gone unnoticed by Amritpal and company. Second, Kalal Sanghiah Kapurthala has a huge statue of Baba Kahan Singh right beside the SGGS. Outside, ‘alcohol langgar’ is free flowing for all. This also went UNNOTICED by Amritpal and company. However, they were wuick to attack a gurdwara with LOW BENCHES placed far away and hugging the walls for the elderly sangat with knee pain. That they noticed, removed and smashed violently and BURNT as sinful object. The “Maryada” at the first two examples above have powerful backers. Hence, the pigeon kept his eyes shut and mouth closed. As SGGS declares, AApnn suaaii kareh bauh battahn (meaning: what suits that is picked up and exaggerated. Don’t trust such elements), says GURU Nanak Ji…

ਉਸਦਾ ਏਜੰਡਾ ਅਜੇ ਵੀ ਕਈਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਸਮਝ ਨਹੀਂ ਆ ਰਿਹਾ।  One of his more outspoken followers  at the cremation of Benches also suggested sangat should sit in a HOLE so as to be BELOW the Guru!  ਇਸਤੋਂ ਇਲਾਵਾ ਦਰਬਾਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਕੰਪਲੈਕਸ ਦੇ ਅੰਦਰ ਹੀ ਕਿੰਨੇ ਕਮਰਿਆਂ ਵਿਚ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਕਿੰਨੀਆਂ ਇਮਾਰਤਾਂ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਉੱਚੀਆਂ ਹਨ।

It’s really intriguing why not a single word was uttered in Bihareepur and at Kahn Singh Gurdwaras where the samaadh and alcohol langgar clearly are major transgressions of the Sikh Reht Maryada and disrespect of SGGS.

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  1. Soon the younger generation will be crippled too and more chairs and benches will be needed in the darbar sahib. We will have granthis who are cropped dresses in jeans and the 5 ks will not be needed. We already having prasidents of guruduwaras who are not ksahdari. Place chairs and benches outside the darbar sahib almost every guruduwara has speakers they can listen sitting outside if they are really interested.

  2. Maybe 20 years time even the younger generation will become crippled and will want to sit on chairs. Put a stop to it now or there will be no end to it. I suggest chairs or banches be placed outside the darbar sahib. Almost every guruduwara has speakers those who cannot sit on the ground can sit outside and listen to gurubani. ???

  3. Gurfatehji, I am sure a solution can be reached soon with Waheguruji’s kirpa as Sikhism is a modern and scientific religion, bearing in mind the increasing numbers of our aged and ill. Perhaps a much higher platform can be built on which Guru Grant Sahib ji is seated, such that the Sangat with benches for the aged and sick then always remain lower than Guruji as should be.
    However, what is more worrying is the blatant bias that this article reeks of- there are more important issues that are facing the Sikhs today,
    Firstly, show respect and use the correct term-
    its SANT Jarnail Singhji Khalsa Bhindranwale, the Saint Soldier who with his few followers laid down their lives defending Sri Harmandir Sahib against the Indian forces. If you claim to be well versed in Sikhi, you should have known about this and who Santji was.
    Bhai Amritpal Singh is carrying out major Amrit Parchars all over Punjab- many have takan Amrit as a result and he is also trying to put a stop to the drug menace facing Punjab whuch has killed thousands as well as the frantic mass Christian conversions and brainwashing going on. So would you agree that all this good or bad ?And most importantly, there has been an increasing number of cases of beadbi or dishonouring taking place in Gurudwaras in Punjab, Angs of our Guruji have been found desecrated, and you are cribbing about benches? For a True Sikh, Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji is everything to him , why were not such culprits caught and why is this happening all the time? When Sikhs speak up , they are labelled radicals or terrorrists ,which incidentally out learned writer has used the term so liberally here. Mr Writer , our Gurus were also called Baaghis or radicals by t0he tyrannical rulers and Sikhs are supposed to be Baaghis – to speak up against injustice.
    Our Panth has to remain united, not speak ill of each other. Check the Sikh Rehat Maryada on this. Guru’s Sikhs should be united and problems that arise must be solved amicably. Dont pick on silly issues , look at the whole picture and see the good that a person is doing. Our so called leaders have sold their souls to Hindustan , which clearly doesnt think of the Sikhs. As the they say your people can be your worst enemies, dont call them fanatics/ radicals,these are Guru’s Sikhs not the Taleban, i am sure a solution with regards the benches can be reached peacefully. Lastly, to the editorial team pls pick articles/writers wisely , unite the Quom( the people) not divide it. Waheguru has given you this platform , use it as a seva to spread the truth to our people.
    Bul Chuk Maaf.

  4. Excellent article telling the stupidity of the issue of chairs. When younger, I used to sit in the gallery of Darbar Sahib, facing the SGGS. A whole floor above the SGGS. No question of not accepting the sovereignty of the SGGS. Of course the disrespect is when we don’t practice the teachings contained in the SGGS. The very first symbol of ਇਕ ਉਂਕਾਰ is not practised by the people who are breaking the chairs. This is disrespect.

  5. Is he another fanatic who wants to impose his own views on others and thus barring elderly and those with disabilities from entering Gurdwaras?

    Will his next step be to ban Sikhs men who may not have the 5Ks and women not dressed according to the way he interprets properly dressed?

    Dress Police like in Iran and some other countries with strict laws on dress codes?

    Bless all

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