Were you expecting your name as president?
Either it is happiness or sorrow, I have enjoyed life under the will of ‘Guru’. I had no remorse on the day I had resigned from the same post (in 2003). I take this announcement the same way. Every honour comes with responsibilities and biggest thing is that you should live up to the expectations.
You were intimated or you came to know about it at the time of announcement?
There is nothing like intimating in advance in SAD. There is long exercise in making such decisions. I have remained SAD secretary for six years. A consensus is reached before making a decision. I came to know about it only when my name was read from stage.
There is confusion over the tenure of this SGPC house.
SGPC is formed under an Act of Parliament and it is the duty of the central government to conduct the first election of newly elected house. There has been no confusion over the tenure. It has been clearly written in the Act that the tenure of the House is five years. But if elections are not held for some reasons, the incumbent committee will remain in action.
Do you think the image of SGPC has been hurt, especially among the youth?
There are two types of people in world, orthodox and conservative. But Guru Nanak showed a new way, which is called Panth. SGPC runs on the path shown by Guru Nanak. Conservative and orthodox people used to hurl allegations on Guru Nanak too. But he continued his struggle and succeeded. Criticism comes to your way when you work.
What is your plan of action?
We will first call the meeting of executive and make an analysis of accounts. And then we will form new policy and execute it.
One thing you want to do at first place?
Golden Temple is the highest place for worship for us. Fifth master Guru Arjun Dev himself held first prayers in presence of Guru Granth Sahib on this place. Guru Arjun Dev himself designed and implemented the Maryada (code of conduct) on this place. That Maryada has tempered to some extent over the period of time. So the biggest target for us will be to implement the Maryada originally designed by Guru Arjun Dev, not only in Golden Temple but across all the Gurudwaras in world by discussing it with the Sangat (Devottes). The second is: the preaching of Guru’s teaching is the basic responsibility of the SGPC. We will use new methods including social media to spread the preaching so people understand the real message of the Gurus.
You were president when Nanakshahi Calender was implemented in first place. There there were changes in it. Will you review these changes?
There are so many things about it. Times keep changing. We will revive the present scenario and the background behind this issue. We will soon call the executive and take decision accordingly.
But can we expect the original Nankshai calendar to be discussed?
I will tell you after discussing it in executive.
How will you stop incidents of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib?
We will take measures to stop such incidents. The support of Sikh Sangat is must in this cause and we will try to mobilise the support.
How your appointment as SGPC chief would affect Assembly elections in state?
SGPC has been doing its own work and SAD is doing its own. We will work in the light of path shown by Guru.