In the wake of Giani Harpreet Singh’s stepping down as the Jathedar of Akal Takht, followed by the appointment of Giani Raghbir Singh as his successor, Sikh organizations are intensifying their demand for a transparent procedure to appoint and remove jathedars.
The heads of all five Takhts hold significant importance in the Panth, but the Jathedar of Akal Takht holds a key role, as their opinions are sought in all religious matters concerning the Sikh community.
It is worth noting that a committee of Sikh intellectuals had previously submitted a comprehensive report outlining the guidelines for the appointment and removal of jathedars across all Takhts. This report was submitted to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
However, Manjit Singh Bhoma, chairman of the Dharam Prachar Committee of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, revealed that the report has been left untouched in the SGPC’s office, while jathedars continue to be appointed and removed based on the whims of political figures. Various Sikh bodies, including SAD (Sanyukt), Jathedar Hawara Committee, and Dal Khalsa, have united in their call for a clear and structured system for appointments to these crucial positions.
Parminder Singh Dhindsa from SAD (Sanyukt) stated that the former Jathedar had paid the price for daring to question the Badals, alluding to potential political interference in the appointments.
The current situation has sparked a growing concern among Sikh organizations, urging for a transparent and impartial process that upholds the integrity of the Panth and ensures the selection of capable individuals to serve as jathedars. As the community awaits a resolution, the need for an inclusive and accountable framework in appointing and removing Takht Jathedars remains a pressing issue.