Amritsar, Punjab: The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has defended its decision of barring women with dyed hair from performing ‘kirtan’ at historical gurdwaras in its jurisdiction.
“Dyeing hair is against rehat maryada (the Sikh code of conduct) and sign of a ‘patit’ (apostate), who can’t be allowed to perform ‘kirtan’ or recite Gurbani in historical shrines,” Harmandir Sahib manager Giani Partap Singh claimed on Wednesday in a press release issued here.
The statement was in response to Akali Dal (Panj Pardhani) vice-president Baldev Singh Sirsa’s criticising the SGPC for not letting women with dyed hair perform ‘kirtan’ at Santokhsar Sahib, a historical shrine a few meters from Harmandir Sahib. It was the day Parkash Utsav of Guru Granth Sahib was celebrated, marking the 410 years of the installation of the holy book that gives equal rights to women.
Clarifying, the Harmandir Sahib manager said the SGPC was not against women’s performing ‘kirtan’ but against their dying hair if they wanted to do this duty. “This rule applies to even Sikh men,” he added. Sirsa said: “If that was the rules, why was the entire troupe of 10 women not allowed to perform? Why did the management no segregate the women with dyed hair? The group has been performing ‘kirtan’ and reciting Gurbani at the shrine for the past one decade.”