In an unprecedented move, five Sikh high priests including the Jathedar Akal Takht Giani Gurbachan Singh have been summoned by the ‘Panj Pyaras’ (five beloved ones) for seeking their explanation on pardoning Dera Sacha Sauda Head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and later revoking it.
They passed the Gurmata (edict) in this regard in a meeting held here today.
The decision to summon the five Jathedars was announced by Bhai Satnam Singh, one of the ‘Panj Pyaras’, in the basement of Akal Takht Sahib.
This is the first time in the Sikh history that the Jathedars of five Takhts were summoned.
All the five Jathedars of different Takhts, including jathedar of Akal Takht – the highest temporal seat of Sikhs – have been asked to appear in person before the ‘Panj Pyaras’ at Akal Takht on October 23 at 10 AM.
The Gurmata (edict) for summoning Giani Gurbachan Singh, Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Iqbal Singh Jathedar of Takht Patna Sahib, Giani Mal Singh Jathedar of Takht Kesgarh Sahib, Giani Gurmukh Singh, Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib and Giani Ram Singh Dhoopia, of Takht Hazoor Sahib, Nanded was passed by the five Panj Pyaras.
The Panj Pyaras who passed the Gurmata were Bhai Satnam Singh, Bhai Mangal Singh, Bhai Major Singh, Bhai Satnam Singh and Bhai Tarlok Singh.
The Akal Takht had granted pardon to the Dera chief on September 24 and annulled that edict on October 16.
The decision taken in a meeting of Panj Pyaras, who perform the ‘amrit sanchar’ (baptism ceremony), was announced by Bhai Satnam Singh before the mediapersons where he read the Gurmata written in Punjabi regarding their decision to summon the five jathedars.
Bhai Satnam Singh said the decision to pardon Sirsa- headquartered Dera Chief was taken without taking any of the Sikh groups and intellectuals into confidence and has put the Sikh ‘Qaum’ (Sikh community) in turmoil.
Besides, it has put the ‘Panth’ into an embarrassing position.
They said according to Sikh tenets, even the jathedars of Takhts were answerable to the Panth so they must explain their decisions and the rationale behind the same.
On September 24, Jathedar of the Akal Takht Giani Gurbachan Singh had announced pardoning Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who had been at loggerheads with the Sikh community for allegedly hurting their sentiments by appearing dressed up like tenth Sikh Master Guru Gobind Singh at Bathinda in 2007.
However, bowing to pressure from the Sikh community and hardliners, the Akal Takht, on October 16 annulled its edict in the blasphemy case.