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Sahaj-dharis To Be Barred From S.G.P.C. Elections


The Tribune, Amritsar (Punjab, India), Jul. 16, 2003

"The Union Home Ministry has cleared the file to debar the sahaj-dharis [unorthodox Sikhs] from exercising their right to vote during the general election of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee [S.G.P.C.]. Mr. Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister and Secretary General, Shiromani Akali Dal told The Tribune that the Central Government is likely to issue a notification in this regard shortly. Voter lists for the general elections of the S.G.P.C. have already been prepared by district administrations and it would be an arduous task to prepare new lists at a time when elections are expected any time."
"Though the S.G.P.C. had been demanding to debar the sahaj-dharis from the voting for a long time by adopting unanimous resolutions yet the state government opposed the move. Sahaj-dhari organisations had also opposed moves to debar them from voting rights. Mr. Manjit Singh Calcutta, a former S.G.P.C. secretary, welcoming the decision to delete the word sahaj-dhari from the Gurdwaras Act 1925 said that it was a right decision taken at an appropriate time."