A major row has erupted over the SGPC’s decision to bar women with dyed hair from performing kirtan at Gurdwara Santokhsar Sahib.
While Golden Temple manager Partap Singh on Wednesday defended the decision, SAD (panch pardhani) leader Baldev Singh Sirsa claimed that the women in question had been performing kirtan at the gurdwara for long, but were now stopped from performing the service for having dyed their hair.
Partap Singh said that as per Sikh rehat maryada such women cannot be allowed to do kirtan. He added that the women had been told several times to stop colouring their hair if they wanted to perform kirtan. He also said that they might be allowed to perform kirtan if they stopped dying their hair.
Partap Singh also warned Sirsa from trying to get “cheap publicity” over the issue.
Sirsa, however, hit back and accused the SGPC of adopting double standards on the issue. “The Sikh rehat maryada should be same for everyone. On one side it is said women cannot do kirtan, on the other, there are SGPC members who dye their hair. There are cases where children of SGPC members are clean shaven. The rehat maryada should be applicable to those as well,” he said.
Former SGPC secretary Kiranjot Kaur called for a debate on the issue. “As per the Sikh rehat maryada, the beard cannot be dyed black; there is no mention of women dying their hair. The issue should not to be discussed through the media. Rather a panel of learned persons should deliberate on it to take a final call,” Kaur said.
SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar defended the decision and said that as per rehat maryada, women with dyed hair cannot be allowed to perform kirtan.