February 8, 2011 4:01:37 am
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) are once again at loggerheads; this time over a word in the form for registering new Sikh voters for the next SGPC elections.
DSGMC office-bearers have blamed SGPC for playing with basic Sikh tenets by interpreting the word patit (disqualified Sikh) as one who indulges in dhumarpaan (smoking),contrary to Sikh Gurdwara Act-1925 that uses the word to mean use of tobacco.
Former SGPC Secretary,Manjit Singh Calcutta,a close confidant of DSGMC chief Paramjit Singh Sarna,said SGPC has ignored the major discrepancy. The SGPC has resorted to an anti-Panthic and anti-religious act by allowing changes by Gurdwara Election Commission using the word dhumarpaan instead of using tobacco. This means that anyone using paan-masala,gutka,paan and khaini,which usually contain tobacco,is not disqualified as a Sikh,he said.
Calcutta read out the DSGMC form for voter registration that clearly mentions the word tobacco instead of dhumarpaan. This shows the callousness of the SGPC and how it is playing with Sikh sentiments. This is despite the fact that the SGPC has said in court recently,in Gurleen Kaur v/s State of Punjab case,that any Sikh who uses tobacco is disqualified as a Sikh, said Calcutta,adding that a conspiracy is being hatched by functionaries of SGPC to downgrade Sikhs tenets,faith and institutions.
SGPC Chief Avtar Singh Makkar,however,said Calcutta was making an issue out of nothing. What difference does it makes? Even dhumarpaan means consuming anything that contains tobacco. Calcutta and Sarna have no mass-base or following and have lost their mental balance. They often rake up non-issues, he said,adding that Calcutta himself had been SGPC secretary for long during the tenure of late SGPC head Gurcharan Singh Tohra and he could have taken up the issue then,as the same form has been used for a long time.
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