No religious body without Akal Takht nod

Amritsar, Punjab: The Sikh clergy today issued directions that the approval of the Akal Takht is a must for constituting any religious body in the future. However, no decision was taken in the meeting regarding the Nanakshahi calendar and the Takht Patna Sahib row.

Talking to mediapersons after the meeting, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said they were still receiving suggestions on the calendar issue and therefore, they did not deliberate on it.

He neither gave a date on which the matter would be discussed nor did he spell out a deadline for sending suggestions to the Takht.

These are being seen as clear indications that the matter has been put on the backburner for now. Earlier, the Sant Samaj had urged the Akal Takht to revert to the Bikrami calendar to clear the confusion caused by the Nanakshahi calendar.

Various Sikh organisations had opposed the move and had advocated the need to implement the original Nanakshahi calendar.

The Sikh clergy also didn’t discuss the Takht Patna Sahib controversy in which Takht Patna Sahib Jathedar Giani Iqbal Singh and its management committee are at loggerheads after a violent clash between the two sides there on January 7.

The Akal Takht Jathedar said the matter was not discussed as neither of the two groups had approached the Akal Takht about it. He said the two sides have lodged police complaints in this regard. He said they have received the video footage of the Patna clash.

The Sikh high priests have made the approval of the Akal Takht mandatory for forming any religious organisation. They felt that it would prevent the setting up of religious organisations by random groups of people and its running according to their whims.

“Now, they will have to seek permission from the Akal Takht in writing. They will also have to mention their aim, constitution and name of members,” they said.

The Sikh clergy has also taken a serious note of the derogatory remarks being made against Sikhism on social networking sites. They have directed the SGPC and the DSGMC to form a panel that should initiate legal action against the persons indulging in such acts.

Now, (persons who want to set up a religious body) will have to seek permission from the Akal Takht in writing. They will also have to mention their aim, constitution and name of members.

Source: The Tribune

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