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Jathedars Peeved Over Questions at Fresno Gurdwara
Prabhsharandeep Singh was speaking on the occasion of Guru Nanak's gurpurab (birthday) celebrations at the L.A. Convention Center in 2005. However, since he felt that the speaker right before him, a follower of Yogi Bhajan, was preaching Yogi Bhajan's teachings as Sikhism, Prabhsharandeep Singh went off script and preached an anti-Bhajan sermon. The Bhajanites in the room started to yell "Inappropriate!" and "Stop saying that!" and stormed the stage. Prabhsharandeep Singh offered to debate them in a public forum and his offer was backed by the conference organizers. In response to their threats to involve the jathedar (chief) of the Akal Takht, Prabhsharandeep Singh told them, "I have a kirpan." Other Sikhs stood with Prabhsharandeep and the Bhajanites backed down and left. "We out macho-ed them!" said Prabhsharandeep Singh. Since the L.A. gurdwaras backed out of challenging Bhajanites at the Y.B. Vaisakhi event, Prabhsharandeep Singh went to Fresno instead.
The Tribune, Amritsar, Apr. 28, 2006
Photo: Joginder Singh Vedanti
The Jathedar of Akal Takht and two other Sikh high priests from Takht Patna Sahib and Takht Kesgarh Sahib faced an unsavoury situation at a Sikh shrine in the U.S.A. when a youth posed 'difficult' questions in the presence of the Sikh sangat [gathering]. Jathedar Vedanti, who returned from the U.S.A. today said, the Akal Takht might initiate action against such youth.
Jathedar Vedanti admitted that he and two other jathedars had visited certain gurdwaras which did not follow the maryada [code of conduct] of the Akal Takht. He, however, added that personal visits were the only way to salvage the situation. He admitted that he had visited Gurdwara Nanaksar in Fresno during his visit to the U.S.A. and asked them to follow the maryada prescribed by the Akal Takht and the S.G.P.C.
A section of Sikh sangat in the U.S.A. rued that the jathedars of three takhts along with the S.G.P.C. secretary and the manager of the Darbar Sahib, had become part of a controversy when they visited institutions that did not follow the hukamnamas barring tables and chairs from langar halls.
Jathedar Vedanti, claimed that the organisers of the function had apologised to him for giving time to one Prabhsharandeep Singh who had openly criticised them and S.G.P.C. functionaries, thereby creating a ruckus in a function. However, Mr. Dalmegh Singh, secretary, S.G.P.C. and Mr. Roop Singh, manager, Darbar Sahib, came to the rescue of the jathedars.
Bhajneet Singh, Prabhsharandeep Singh, Amardeep Singh and others raised questions like why Baba Daljit Singh of Chicago had been let off so easily and had not been instructed to retake Amrit. Why hasn't Jathedar Vedanti taken any action against Badal's wife for visiting Ashutosh? Why are the jathedars attending 3H.O. functions and addressing Yogi Bhajan Singh with the 'Sri Singh Sahib' title?