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

Darshan Singh Ragi: Ban Gurbani in Deras


The Indian Express, Patiala, Nov. 6, 2005

Photo: Darshan Singh Ragi

Prof. Darshan Singh, a former jathedar [head priest] of the Akal Takht, here today called upon the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee [S.G.P.C.] to impose a ban on gurbani [compositions of the Sikh Gurus] recital at certain deras [communes] where its basic character was being distorted.

Interacting with a group of media persons at the residence of former M.P. Atinderpal Singh, Prof. Darshan Singh said that the babas [holy men] at some deras were making additions and alterations to gurbani, which was highly objectionable. He said that this needed to be checked forthwith and the Akal Takht should ensure that no one was allowed to take liberty in the matter of gurbani recital.

'No distortion of Gurbani by anyone could be tolerated,' he cautioned while asking for a crackdown against those indulging in such liberties. He said that the Akal Takht, which was the highest temporal seat of Sikhism, should ensure that the dignity of gurbani was maintained at all costs and no tinkering with the traditions was allowed.

He said that even in the deras where Guru Granth Sahib [the Sikh holy book] was enshrined all traditions should be maintained and no compromise on the sanctity of the Guru Granth Sahib should be allowed.

Prof. Darshan Singh said that a 'Dharmic Parliament' was planned to be organised in January to discuss certain evils that were creeping into Sikhism. This meet would chalk out a line of action to ensure that the lofty traditions of Sikhism were held high. Eminent Sikh scholars besides the high priests would be invited to participate in the deliberations of the parliament.