Noteworthy News and Analysis from Around the World

In-Depth Coverage of Issues Concerning the Global Sikh Community Including Self-Determination, Democracy, Human Rights, Civil Liberties, Antiracism, Religion, and South Asian Geopolitics

Home | News Analysis Archive | Biographies | Book Reviews | Events | Photos | Links | About Us | Contact Us

Sikh Clergy Restates Ban on Kala Afghana

Gurbakhsh Singh Kala Afghana retired in 1981 as inspector of police. In 1984, while he was visiting Canada, India cancelled his passport and confiscated his property. Now based in Canada, the Sikh author's books Biparan Kii Riit Ton Sach Daa Maarag and Bachittar Natak: Gurbani Di Kasvuti Te contend that the Dasam Granth was not entirely authored by Guru Gobind Singh. Renowned Sikh scholar Gurtej Singh, jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib Giani Kewal Singh, and many others have stoutly defended Kala Afghana's writings. Sikh scholar Giani Bhag Singh Ambalavi had to apologise in the late 1970s for having questioned the validity of the Dasam Granth. Gurbakhsh has questioned the commonly held belief that Guru Tegh Bahadur died for Hindus. He has written, 'the only complaint before the emperor was that Guru Tegh Bahadur was fanning insurgency against the government. Thus those claiming that the Guru sacrificed his life for Hinduism are sullying the principles of Sikhism.'

The Tribune, Apr. 5, 2003

The Sikh clergy at a meeting at Akal Takht secretariat here today banned books by Canada-based cop-turned Sikh scholar Gurbax Singh Kala Afghana for allegedly distorting Sikh history. Reading, buying or re-printing of the controversial books has been banned. The Sikh high priests have also summoned Mr. Kala Afghana to explain his position by May 10 at Akal Takht. Earlier, Mr. Kala Afghana had be permitted to clarify his position via video-conferencing as he had pleaded that he could be arrested upon entry into India due to past links with Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. 'Ill health' was another reason offered by Mr. Kala Afghana for seeking exemption from appearing at the Akal Takht. However, the video-conference could not he held due to non-cooperation from the S.G.P.C. which did not provide the needed infrastructure to the Sikh high priests for video-conferencing with Kala Afghana.

Mr. Kala Afghana has authored a, not yet complete, 10-volume book Biparan Kii Riit Ton Sach Daa Maarag. The foreword to one of the volumes was written by Mr. Gurtej Singh, S.G.P.C. National Professor of Sikhism. The meeting was attended by giani [priest] Joginder Singh Vedanti, jathedar [high priest] of Akal Takht, giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, jathedar of takht [spiritual seat] Damdama Sahib, giani Tarlochan Singh, acting jathedar of takht Keshgarh Sahib, giani Bhagwan Singh, head granthi [priest] Akal Takht and giani Jagtar Singh, granthi Golden Temple.

Related Links:
Kala Afghana's Books Burnt, By STAFF, The Tribune, May 15, 2003
Kala Afghana's Detractors Are Either "Ignorant" or "Malevolent", By GURTEJ SINGH, Press Release, May 3, 2003
Kala Afghana's Right to Freedom of Expression, By PUNEET SINGH LAMBA, The Sikh Times, Feb. 1, 2003