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Editorial

SGPC and Badal family baffled over Punjab Govt decision to bring new Sikh Gurdwara Act

SATINDER BAINS | June 19, 2023 11:14 PM

New Act is aimed to end monopoly of PTC TV Channel owned by Sukhbir Badal
CHANDIGARH: The decision of Punjab Government to bring new Sikh Gurdwara (Amendment) Act 2023 to end monopoly of Badal family over distributing rights of telecast of Gurbani from Sri Harmandir Sahib, presently beign telecast on PTC news channel. The channel is owned by SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has announced to bring a new act Sikh Gurdwara (Amendment) Act 2023 to replace Gurdwara Management Act 1925 enacted by Parliament. Punjab has decided to bring new act in the light of Supreme Court observation that forming Gurdwara management Committee is right of state government. The decision was announced when Supreme Court upheld the decision of forming Haryana Gurdwara Management Committee.

It is widely know fact that SGPC is controlled by Badal family and all its loyalists are appointed on key posts like President and Secretary of SGPC and Jathedars of Akal Takht (Supreme seat of Sikhs) and other TWO takhts existing in Punjab. The other two Takht are Takht Kesgrh Sahib Anandpur Sahib, Takht Damdama Sahib Talwandi Sabo in Punjab and Takhat Hazoor Sahib Nanded (Maharashtra) are outside Punjab. SGPC has control to appoint Jathedars of Takht located in Punjab only.

SGPC has 170 members and 168 come from Punjab and one each from Himachal and Chandigarh. The SGPC is presently governed by Gurdwara Managemetn Act of 1925 and after new act comes to power, the SGPC will be controlled by this act. One of the main feature of the act would be to end the control of Badal family over SGPC. It is a known fact that SAD was using SGPC and religious platforms to promote its political interests.

Sukhbir Badal and SGPC president Advocate H.S.Dhami have started a frontol attack on the Bhagwant Mann government for interfering in the Sikh affairs. SGPC had called tenders to sell Gurbani if Harmandir Sahib for next 11 years which is being objected by majority of Sikhs around the world. Bhagwant Mann wanted that Gurbani of Gutu Nanak shall be available on all TV channels without any monopoly over telecast.

Chief Minister has said that as a humble Sikh he was trying to spread the Gurbni Kirtan around the world without monopoly of Badal family over telecast rights. The Badal family had manipulated exclusive telecast rights for PTC channel to forward its business and political interests. He said that Badal family damaged the Sikh community the most. He said that SGPC would work under the new act and practice of removing Jathedars would also end.

Bhagwant Mann has called Badal family as Modern Masands. SGPC was formed after taling over control from Masands. SGPC president had strongly reacted over calling Badal family Masands. He rather underlined the role of Masands in managing the Gurdwaras.

Former Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh who had ordered SGPC to start its own TV channel free to air for spreading the Gurbani around the world. The SGPC had however failed to implement the Jathedar orders and Badal family removed Giani Harpreet Singh from his post due to his orders issued beyond briefing.

SAD and SGPC are now trying to make it an issue of government interference in Sikh affairs. Whereas the government says they are not interfering in Sikh affairs but wanted to end the control of Badal family.

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