Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sikh clergy, Makkar back Open Forgiveness Sale window at Takht

One wonders what good such a move will do since those
whom Makkar wants to woo have only snubbed it.
Neither Sirsa’s Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh nor
Spokesman’s Joginder Singh are likely to pick up
the apology discount sale bait of clergy.


AMRITSAR: Can there be a sort of discount period from a holy seat for those excommunicated from a community to return during a particular window without the fear of any punishment? Strange are the ways of the Sikh clergy and the SGPC top honcho Avtar Singh Makkar who have now opened a ‘quick sale counter’, asking those excommunicated to return to the pamthic fold by presenting themselves for forgiveness within a month’s time.
Many Sikhism experts are wondering if the Akal Takht, which is forever forgiving for those who seek to apologise and repent, has now chosen to be extra magnanimous, but then why is that magnanimity limited to one month only? And will it be an annual affair, like the many seasonal sales?
There may be debate in society about the institution of ‘tankhah’ but for those who believe in it, the new step will be very confusing. The latest clergy statement has offered to take back people without the religious punishment. An open season has been declared for “Guru’s bakhshish” but this ‘bakhshish’ window will soon close down.
While the decision was announced by the clergy on June 6, the very next day Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said even Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh could be pardoned if he presented himself before Akal Takht and sought forgiveness for his blasphemous act.
Earlier, the Akal Takht had issued an edict to Sikhs for observing a total boycott of the dera chief and followers of his sect after he imitated Guru Gobind Singh and administered his ‘Jam-e-Insan’ (a sweet drink) to his followers in 2007.
One wonders what good such a move will do since those whom the Akali Dal’s ‘more loyal than the king’ Falstaff Makkar wants to woo have only snubbed it. Neither Sirsa’s Gurmeet Ram Rahim nor Spokesman’s Joginder Singh are likely to pick up the bait.
This system of wholesale pardon window needs a serious re-look and instead the SGPC should focus on reforms in the clergy, and clearly defining powers and role of the jathedars. But men like Makkar will not work to resolve those issues.

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