Hukamnama and Sarbat Khalsa : when, why, how and by whom?
The year 1998 can rightly be called the ‘year of the hukamnamas’. At every Sikh gathering, ‘hukamnamas’ continued to be discussed and the Sikhs were vertically divided. In Canada, the Sikh voters handed over he control of the Gurdwaras to the group that opposed the ‘langar hukamnama’. In India too, the Sikhs were split vertically. And then arose those questions : What is a ‘hukamnama’? Why is it issued? Who has the right to issue a ‘hukamnama’?.etc. Similar questions started arising about ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ also. Politicians answered these questions in the newspaper columns. But they have no attachment to principles; they are interested only in personal gains. If today a particular ‘hukamnama’ becomes a liability, the same politician will start opposing it. But what is the considered view of committed and unattached scholars, imbued with Gurmat? Given below are their answers to some of the very important questions.
The year 1998 can be rightly called the ‘year of the hukamnamas’ – not only because this year a large number of ‘hukamnamas’ were issued from Sri Akal Takhat Sahib, but also because ‘hukamnamas’ issued from there remained the main subject of heated discussion at every Sikh gathering. In the Tohra – Nirankari controversy, when Singh Sahibaan exonerated both Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra and Captain Amrinder Singh, they were subjected to criticism of the Sikh people for the first time in history. The ‘langar hukamnama’ had virtually divided the entire Sikh nation into two. Since this edict immediately affected the Sikhs living abroad, they became more vocal in their opposition to it. When the Sikh voters in Canada got the opportunity to express their opinion on the ‘langar hukamnama’, they sided with the group that vehemently opposed the ‘hukamnama’. Some of them had already been excommunicated by Sri Akal Takhat Sahib.
Another ‘hukamnama’ was issued from Sri Akal Takhat Sahib on 31st of December, ordering Badal and Tohra groups in the Akali Dal to put a stop to their infighting till 15th of April 1999. Apparently there was nothing objectionable in this edict, and yet the politicians directly affected by it started opposing it with double the vigor as compared to that of Canadian Sikh leaders opposed to the ‘langar hukamnama’. Till the time of penning down these lines. 131 SGPC members out of a total of 180 have appealed in writing to the Jathedar Akal Takhat to withdraw this ‘hukamnama’. According to newspaper reports, politicians have busied themselves in removing both the SGPC President and the Akal Takhat Jathedar in order to get the December 31 ‘hukamnama’ withdrawn. here many important questions have cropped up. If politicians do not approve of a certain edict they use all their energy in removing the Jathedar. But if the Sikhs in foreign lands do not find it feasible to follow an edict what should they do? And if sincere Sikh scholars and thinkers come to the same conclusion about a particular edict and base their objections on the sound principles of Sikhism of Gurmat, what should they do? Is there any method by which an edict can be issued in such a form and manner that no Sikh should feel the necessity of challenging it? And if a decision or an edict divides the community, can some honorable way out be found to this? Like in the case of other Sikh institutions, the real aim behind the establishment of the Akal Takhat was to keep the Sikh Panth united, and not to sacrifice the community’s unity be remaining adamant on an edict issued by Akal Takhat Jathedar or his five companions.
After the issuance of the ‘hukamnama’, the move to hold a ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ has also gained momentum. What is ‘Sarbat Khalsa’? Who can be included in it? And how can decisions be arrived at a ‘Sarbat Khalsa?
Politicians are blurting out answers to the above questions which are being carried by the newspapers. But everybody knows that politicians have scant regard for true principles of Sikhism. They take decisions while keeping their own interests in mind. They take sides for selfish reasons. Badal group is ready to accept the unanimous decision of the Jathedars of the three Takhats today because it knows that two of the three Takhat Jathedars will support it. On the other hand. Tohra group is describing Akal Takhat Jathedar’s decision as the ‘heavenly order’ because it also is quite that three Takhat Jathedars will not support it. Tomorrow, if the situation changes, it will not be a matter of surprise if the Badal group starts describing Akal Takhat Jathedar’s describing Akal Takhat Jathedar’s decision as ‘God’s command’, and the Tohra group starts rejecting every decision that is not taken by the five Takhat Jathedars. The politician has to watch his own interests and grind his own axe. If the Guru’s command is found beneficial by him, it is acceptable to him, otherwise he will not hesitate rejecting the same.
Are the principles of the Gurus subject to the approval of the politicians? What do unattached scholars wedded to Gurmat say on this subject? Earlier too, in the September issue, the Spokesman had made the position clear on the issue of ‘hukamnamas’ after talking to many scholars who wanted to remain anonymous. This was largely welcomed (barring a handful of those people belonging to factions). it was agreed that the Spokesman had done a good job by clarifying the issue. After that many new questions have come up, about which politicians are making statements that serve their vested interests only, while impartial, unattached and serious scholars of Sikhism are keeping mum. The Spokesman once again tried to establish contact with them. They were requested to put their point of view freely and frankly before the Panth. But they were of the view that at this juncture, even if they expressed their opinion on the basis of Gurmat, the feuding factions would accuse them of colluding with one group or the other, and hence they wanted to avoid that awkward situation.
We put some questions to five eminent scholars and requested them to put forward their answers on the basis of Gurmat alone, and the same were recorded. They have forbidden us to reveal their names. Therefore, we have named them A,B,C,D and E.
Q. What is a ‘hukamnama’ and what is its correct position in Gurmat?
Ans. (A) The word ‘hukamnama’ existed much before the birth of Sikhism. Till then the ‘hukamnama’ was issued only by the kings because they used to be the highest authority and none was considered higher than the king. In Sikhism, Akal Purkh (the Timeless one, God) is the supreme ruler (There is no king equal to God.) But in physical form the Guru (Guru Nanak in his ten forms) is the supreme for a Sikh and he (Guru) alone can issue ‘hukamnamas’. In 1699, after the creation of the Khalsa Panth, for the first time in world history, only ‘Panth’ and not an individual, was given the ‘Guru’ title. In practical terms, whatever collective decisions the Sikh Panth takes under the aegis of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, are binding on all Sikhs. After Guru Gobind Singh Ji, only the ‘Guru Panth’ and none else has the right to take decisions that are binding on all Sikhs.
(B) So far as Akal Takhat is concerned, neither the Jathedar singly, nor with the concurrence of other priests, can he issue any ‘hukamnama’ as Guru has not authorized him to do so. The right bequeathed to the ‘Guru Panth’ by the Guru himself cannot be passed on to any person or group. Later, Panth felt the need to evolve can authority which should implement its ‘Gurmatas’ and prior to that, should help in bringing Sikh groups with divergent views to sit together, and arrive at a consensus and adopt ‘Grumata’. Therefore, the Guru Panth, of its own accord, entrusted this duty to the Jathedar of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib. It authorized him to call a gathering of Sikh representatives at Akal Takhat twice a year, so that an agreement could be reached on contentious issues and ‘Gurmata’ (resolution or consensus) adopted: and then to enforce the ‘Gurmata’ on all the Sikhs. But neither did the Guru Panth ever authorize Jathedar of Akal Takhat or any other Singh Sahib to issue a ‘hukamnama’ on his own, nor can this right be delegated to him. If even by mistake it is conceded that Jathedar Akal Takhat individually or in the company of other Granthi Singhs can issue a ‘hukamnama’, it will be a negation of the concept as propounded by Guru Gobind Singh himself for the benefit of the Sikh Panth. The ‘Guru Panth’ concept itself forbids the Khalsa from being subservient to any one person or four-five persons howsoever high or exalted to positions they may be holding, and it is this basic approach that distinguishes Sikhism from Brahminism. If instead of the Guru Panth, on Jathedar or five Singh Sahibaan start exercising the right to issue edicts, what is the difference between Sikhism and Brahminism in that case?
(C) Here a question arises: If Jathedar of Akal Takhat alone or with the help of four other Jathedars/ Granthi Singhs cannot issue a ‘hukamnama’, then what is the meaning of the ‘supremacy of the Akal Takhat’? The simple and clear answer is that the Akal Takhat is supreme for the following two reasons: (1) The Guru Panth announces its decisions from there and (2) the Jathedar of Akal Takhat enforces the Guru Panth’s decisions and ‘hukamnamas’. While enforcing and implementing these ‘hukamnamas’ and decisions, the Akal Takhat Jathedar has the authority to stop their violation by all possible means. This is the meaning of Akal Takhat is only the supreme authority to implement ‘hukamnamas’ and decisions of the Guru Panth.
(D) In fact, in earlier times, people used to give extra powers to the Chief or Sardar of their tribe so that, with these powers to be exercised by him, hi might be able to protect his people in a better manner. Gradually, the tribal chief became the Raja or the King, and he started using his special or extra powers against his own people and became a tyrant or a despot. He started calling himself God or avtar. The same is the case with religious leaders. Initially people respected them and started obeying their commands out of devotion and duty alone. But gradually the religious leaders started considering themselves supreme. That is why the Sikh Gurus neither conceded any extra powers to the ruler (king) nor to any religious leaders. If Guru Gobind Singh wished, he could have ordered the Khalsa Panth to obey every edict of the Akal Takhat Jathedar, because the Akal Takhat was very much in existence then also. But the Guru did not do so deliberately because he was going to usher in a new era by bequeathing all rights to the Khalsa Panth. In this new era, neither the ruler nor the religious head can be given unrestricted powers. In both cases, all rights are collectively exercised by the common man whom Guru Sahib elevated by giving ‘Guru Panth’ title.
(E) In Sikhism, the position is quite clear that only the Guru Panth can issue a ‘hukamnama’, which is enforced by the Jathedar of Akal Takhat. Tomorrow, the Guru Panth can even decide that its ‘hukamnama’ will be enforced by some other agency. But the present position is that the Guru Panth’s ‘hukamnamas’ are enforced by the Akal Takhat Jathedar. here the question arises: when the position is so clear, why are some people showing the audacity to say that the Akal Takhat can issue any edict and it is no less than God’s command for every Sikh? The truth is that ever since politicians started appointing the Jathedars, they have started utilizing their services for the furtherance of their vested interests. Today, if one decision of a Jathedar serves the purpose of a politician, he starts calling it the ‘Order of God’. If tomorrow, the Jathedar’s edict does not suit the same politician, he will start protesting that the Jathedar has no right to issue and edict. Unattached Sikh scholars should sit together and take a decision in the light of Gurmat and try to remove this confusion. In my opinion, if the right to issue ‘hukamnama’ is vested in Jathedar of Akal Takhat or five Jathedars (Singh Sahibaan), it will be, on the one hand, a revolt against Guru Gobind Singh, while, on the other hand, it will tantamount to usurping the rights of Guru Panth and placing the destiny of the Khalsa Panth in the hands of a few persons. This is not permissible in Gurmat, through it is quite valid in Brahminism.
Q: If the position with regard to issuing of a ‘hukamnama’ is so clear as you all scholars are claiming to be, then why are some persons/ organizations expressing contrary viewpoint? Even the World Sikh Council has passed a resolution saying that the Akal Takhat Jathedar can issue any edict
Ans: (A) As has been said earlier, it is the politician who first misinterprets the principles of Gurmat. He is not concerned with Gurmat; his sole concern is self-projection. If today, Gurmat can be of any help in saving his sinking boat, the politician will go the whole hog for it.
(B) Leave aside politicians. Like every other field of life, Brahminism seems to have tightened its grip on Sikh thought in the realm religion also. While proclaiming the ‘supremacy of Akal Takhat’, some among the Sikhs appear to have forgotten that this ‘supremacy’ was confined to enforcing and implementing the decisions of the Guru Panth, and not it taking decisions itself. in Brahminism people after following a Sant Baba or an institution for some time, start considering and calling him ‘Supreme’. but Guru Gobind Singh has permanently forbidden us from considering anybody/ institution, other than Guru Granth Sahib and Guru Panth, to be ‘Supreme’. if instead of Guru Panth, any other authority has the right to issue edicts, then he or it automatically becomes greater than the Guru Panth. We may accept this contention out of ignorance about the philosophy of Sikhism or as a result of our partisan approach, but it will never find favor with the Guru on the common people was a revolutionary step, in which the Sikhs can take as much pride as they like. Therefore, if we grant the right to issue edicts to anyone other than the Guru Panth, we shall be committing the mistake of reversing the revolution ushered in by the Guru, for which the Guru will never pardon us.
(C) So far as the resolution passed by the World Sikh Council is concerned, we can only say that it is regrettable. There is not a single well known scholar of Sikhism on its executive. If this institution is to become a truly representative body of the Sikhs all over the world, then instead of adopting the resolution under the influence of partisan considerations, it should have first constituted a committee of impartial scholars and then adopted the resolution after obtaining its report. In the field of religion, instead of taking sides with the chief of the organization, it is better to be on the side of the Guru first. The ‘world’ appellation alone does not make an organization great. Its acceptability as a world body will be tested from the fact whether it has taken recourse to factional or partisan approach while taking decisions, or has followed Gurmat after careful and deep research. Let the executive of the Council even now tell us, on the basis of what evidence and research has it adopted the resolution affirming that the Akal Takhat is empowered to issue edicts? Did any Guru grant the right to issue edicts to the Akal Takhat Jathedar? If the Panth alone, then even the Guru Panth cannot transfer this right to anybody else, because even the Guru Panth does not have the right to reverse the plan/scheme drawn by the Guru himself.
(D) I fully agree with the views expressed by the other scholars.
(E) I also agree with what has been stated above.
Q: Some persons are advancing the argument that Akal Takhat was built by Guru Hargobind with his own hands. Therefore, any edict issued from here is binding on every Sikh.
Ans: (A)Guru Sahibaan built many holy places with their own hands. In the past, Mahants controlling them misled and robbed the local Sikhs by advancing this very argument. This loot came to a stop only after the Gurdwara Reform Movement when the Gurdwaras were liberated from the clutches of the Mahants and priests. Guru Hargobind Sahib built the Akal Takhat in order to throw a challenge to the rulers of the day. But he never said that the priest of Jathedar of Akal Takhat would issue edicts. The four Sikh Gurus who succeeded him, never visited the Akal Takhat. Guru Gobind Singh too, while creating the Khalsa Order, did not issue any command to this effect that the Jathedar of Akal Takhat individually or with four other Granthis (Priests) would have the right to issue edicts. He bequeathed all rights to the Guru Panth. It was the Guru Panth that afterwards, by exercising its powers, decided that gurmatas (resolution or consensus adopted in a Sikh congregation), hukamnamas (edicts) and decisions of the Guru Panth will be enforced by the Akal Takhat Jathedar. While taking this decision, the Guru Panth had taken into consideration the historical importance and the fact of Akal Takhat having been built by the Guru. If Guru Hargobind Sahib had not built the Akal Takhat, the duty of implementing the decisions of the Guru Panth too could have been entrusted to the head of some other holy place.
(B), (C), and (D) : We fully agree with the views expressed above.
(E) The purpose for which Guru Hargobind Sahib created the Akal Takhat was the same as the one for which Guru Gobind Singh created the Khalsa Panth and gave all the powers to the Guru Panth. One or five Jathedars cannot challenge the rulers, only the Panth can. Therefore, only the Guru Panth can issue ‘hukamnamas’ from the Akal Takhat.
Q: It is being said that the Akal Takhat’s ‘hukamnamas’ is the ‘Order of God’ for every Sikh. What do the scholars think about it?
Ans: (A) For the Sikhs, Gurbani is the only command of God and nothing else. Even the Guru Panth’s edict issued from the Akal Takhat is not the Order of God. It is the command of the Guru Panth which every Sikh must abide by for strengthening the Order of Khalsa. As has been stated earlier, the edict is of the Guru Panth and not of the Akal Takhat. No Takhat (throne) issues a ‘hukamnama’ on its own, its ruler does. From the Akal Takhat, only the ‘Guru Panth’ issues ‘hukamnama’.
(B, C, D and E) : We all agree with what has been stated above.
Q: Besides implementing the decisions of the Guru Panth, can the Jathedar of Akal Takhat take some decisions himself? What is the role of other Takhat Jathedars?
Ans: (A) The Akal Takhat Jathedar can decide on matters concerning individual violations of Gurmat, morality and ethics and all such matters about which Gurbani provides clear directions. For example, the matter of outraging the modesty of a woman by a Sikh can be settled by the Jathedar himself. But if the question arises whether eating of meat is right or wrong, then the issue has to be handed over to the Guru Panth for taking a decision.
(B) So far as the other Takhats are concerned, they were established by the Khalsa Panth for their own convenience. Sikhism was spreading far and wide, and it was considered impossible for one Takhat to arbitrate on individual complaints. It was thought that the other Takhats would be able to settle and resolve problems, difficulties and complaints of the Sikhs in their respective regions and would also be able to preach and propagate Sikhism there. I the Sikhs living there were not satisfied with the decisions of the Takhats, the appeal would go to the Akal Takhat whose decision would be final. If a complex problem arose or a matter involving Gurmat principles came up, the Jathedar could place it before the Guru Panth.
(C) In an emergency, the Akal Takhat Jathedar can issue and order for forging unity in the Panth, because in such a situation there is no time to hold a Panthic congregation. The edict issued on December 31, 98 asking the two feuding Akali groups to stop fighting till 15th of April 99 was perfectly in order. If the Jathedar of Akal Takhat cannot prevent two fighting Sikh groups from fighting with each other, what kind of Jathedar is he and what for is he the Jathedar?
(D) The ‘hukamnama’ of December 31, 98 was perfectly valid, but it should not have been termed ‘hukamnama’. It was enough to call it and ‘adesh’ (order). The ‘hukamnama’ is of the Guru Panth, and not of the Jathedar.
(E) I fully agree with the above opinion.
Q: In case of division of disunity in the Panth, can a ‘hukamnama’ be withdrawn also?
Ans: (A) Why not? The first and foremost aim of every Panthic tradition is to forge unity and lessen dissensions and differences. If at any time, it appears that a particular step has made the achievement of the above aim possible, then in the interest of the Panth, the earlier step should be withdrawn and new steps taken to achieve unity. No tradition, convention and edict can be greater than the Guru Panth.
(B) The argument is being advanced that no ‘hukamnama’ has ever been withdrawn in the past. The reason for that is that earlier, every edict was issued after careful deliberations and after arriving at a consensus. In such a care, when all possibilities of differences of opinion cropping up later were taken care of in advance, where was the need to withdraw an edict? It is for the first time that ‘hukamnamas’ have been issued by the Jathedars and Granthi Singhs themselves, in violation of the Khalsa tradition and the mode prescribed by the Guru. That is why, it is for the first time that the edicts issued by them have been widely criticized. Edicts issued by the Guru Panth were neither criticized before, nor will they be criticized in future.
(C) In my opinion, the entire matter should be settled by summoning a ‘Sarbat Khalsa’. At this gathering, the questions that need to be discussed and decided, are: Who can issue an edict and who cannot do so? And what should be done when there is division in the Panth?
(D) ‘Hukamnama’ is not something to be worshiped; it is only a means to arrive at a consensus and forge unity in the Khalsa Panth. Means can never be greater than the ends. If the end is not achieved, then clinging to the means isn’t only sheer fanaticism but is akin to showing total indifference to the future of Sikhism. The Sikhs continue fighting among themselves and the leader harping on the tune that the ‘hukamnama’ is final and irrevocable. This approach could be justified in former times but not today. In former times, religious leaders often sacrificed the common man at the alter of tradition and convention. But Guru Gobind Singh Sahib (by not giving any importance to the religious leaders) reversed this old tradition by conferring the title of ‘Guru Panth’ upon the common man, and conveyed the message that tradition could be changed but the common man could not be sacrificed. Putting unnecessary emphasis on the word ‘maryada’ (tradition) is symptomatic of the influence of Brahminism on our thinking.
Q: What is the real meaning of ‘Guru Panth’ – all Sikhs, Sarbat Khalsa, SGPC, Jathedars of the five Takhats or one Jathedar and four Granthis?
Ans: (A) The Guru Panth itself created the institution of Sarbat Khalsa in order to maintain unity and unanimity in the Panth. This institution did a lot of God to the Sikhs, but certainly did no harm. In order to make his own progeny a successor to the throne of Khalsa Raj, Maharaja Ranjit Singh stopped the practice of summoning a Sarbat Khalsa. with this started the decline of Sikhism. As a result of the Gurdwara Reform Movement, the SGPC came into being. Its leaders declared that the SGPC was playing the role of the ‘Sarbat Khalsa’, therefore, henceforth it should be considered a substitute for ‘Sarbat Khalsa’. Since the SGPC had come into existence after heavy sacrifices, the Sikhs did not object to this suggestion. For quite sometime, the SGPC continued to play the role of the ‘Sarbat Khalsa’. While playing this role, the SGPC framed the Sikh ‘rehat mayrada’. The Akal Takhat had no role in framing the ‘rehat maryada’. But now the conditions have completely changed. The Badal Akali Dal, which is in control of the SGPC, has changed its constitution and declared itself a ‘Punjab’ or a secular partly instead of a Panthic party. Members of a non-Panthic party can under no circumstances be called ‘Sarbat Khalsa’. Therefore, now in the changed conditions, ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ should be called again in order to take Panthic decisions.
(B) This notion is wrong that ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ means all Sikhs. It means representatives of all Sikh groups having faith in Sikhism or Gurmat. At no point of time, more than 100 Sikh representatives were invited to attend a ‘Sarbat Khalsa’. Even now, a conclave of 100 representative Sikhs or even a smaller gathering of Sikhs will be called. The discussions will be held behind closed doors and the representatives will not come out till they have reached a consensus. The Akal Takhat Jathedar will summon the gathering and he will help all representatives in arriving at a consensus. The consensus will be announced in the form of a ‘Gurmata’. The Jathedar will strictly enforce the ‘Gurmata’ on all Sikhs.
(C) The Panth will know in advance the various issues to be discussed at the Sarbat Khalsa. Representatives of concerned groups (prominence will be given to impartial and unattached Gursikh scholars having a deep understanding of Gurmat). They will be the sort of people who do not succumb to any pressures of temptations and are God-fearing only. At the Sarbat Khalsa, every member will be asked to present his view point in the light of Gurmat. He will also be asked to take an oath that he will not say anything that infringes upon the principles of Gurmat.
(D) Five Singh, Sahibaan or any one else cannot take the place of Guru Panth. They can only enforce the decisions of the Guru Panth. No other institution, better than the ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ has so far emerged before the Sikhs, which can represent the Guru Panth.
Q: If the Jathedar of Akal Takhat refuses to summon a ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ or packs it with his own supporters, what will happen in that case?
Ans. (A) The success of the institution of Sarbat Khalsa depends mainly on the non-partisan attitude of the Jathedar of Akal Takhat. In Sikh history, never before has such a situation arisen when any faction of group might have complained that the Jathedar is partisan. The fact remains that ever since politicians have started appointing Takhat Jathedars according to their own liking, complaints have started coming against them. After summoning the Sarbat Khalsa, problems may crop up for a short while, but the Sarbat Khalsa is capable of resolving them on its own. If the Sarbat Khalsa starts appointing the Akal Takhat Jathedar as well as Jathedars of other Takhats, only virtuous persons will be selected and they will not be partial to anyone because at the next ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ their work and conduct could come under scrutiny too.
(B) Takhat Jathedars should make special efforts to ensure that they do not get embroiled in any controversies, nor make any public statements against any Sikh. If any group or faction feels that the Jathedar is partial to anyone, it becomes the duty of the Jathedar to approach the leader of the group himself and convince him of his impartiality.
(C) Whenever a Jathedar plays a partisan role, Panth will have to pay the price. Therefore, all care should be taken while selecting a Jathedar. Politicians cannot act impartially or on merit alone. Only selections made through ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ can be right and proper.
(D and E): We fully agree with the views expressed above.
Q: Even when the situation is so clear, why don’t the three warring factions try to summon a Sarbat Khalsa?
Ans (A) Politicians will never like to stand in the dock before the Panth! It was Maharaja Ranjit Singh who stopped the practice of holding ‘Sarbat Khalsa’ so that he could make his son the heir apparent to the Khalsa Raj. Today’s political leaders are entertaining the same fears about the Sarbat Khalsa as Maharaja Ranjit Singh had. They want to safeguard their own interests by calling the Akal Takhat’s ‘hukamnama’ the ‘Order of God’ or by terming the ‘hukamnama’ of Five Jathedars as supreme. They are not at all concerned about safeguarding the principles of the Khalsa Panth. But the manner in which Centre’s secret agencies are enforcing anti-Sikh programmes and are trying to make every important leader a captive, we should understand that, even if by mistake, (at the behest of political leaders) we pass on those powers belonging to the Guru Panth, to one Jathedar or five Jathedars, then wittingly or unwittingly we shall be making the task of the secret agencies easier. It will be very easy for them to influence one Jathedar or five Jathedars or to get persons of their choice appointed to these positions whereas it will be impossible for them to influence the decisions of the ‘Sarbat Khalsa’.
(B) Today there are doubts about the credentials of many Sikh leaders and many are of the opinion that they are acting at the instance of secret agencies to divide the Sikh Panth. These doubts can be both right and wrong. But none can deny the existence of such doubts. If in future, the Jathedars too are vested with the powers that politicians wish to grant them, the secret agencies will do all they can to have them under their umbrella. The feud among the present day leaders is leading the Panth into that direction and that Panth into that direction and that should be quite upsetting, to say the least. When the secret agencies succeed in doing so, such ‘hukamnamas’ will start being issued from which the Panth will not be able to escape, and the enemies of the Panth will then quote the Sikh leaders and say that ‘hukamnamas’ of the Jathedar are God’s word for the Sikhs!
(C) Politicians do not like even the Parliament and the Assemblies where they are answerable and accountable for their actions and utterances. They too wish to act like dictators. Indra Gandhi has imposed emergency because she wanted to disregard the Parliament and rule autocratically. The Sikh leaders have never held the annual sitting of the SGPC for more than a few hours, even though they are in majority in the apex body. Why do they not like to hold ‘Sarbat Khalsa’? To concentrate all powers in their own hands, they are ready to bypass even the Guru. But it is in the interest of the Panth that the Guru Panth should wake up and not allow anyone to usurp the rights and powers bequeathed to it by the Guru.
(D) If the Guru Panth does not keep itself above all these leaders and Jathedars, they will do incalculable harm to Sikhism.
(E) If the Guru Panth wakes up, only then will the sham and pretentious leaders take to their heels and the Guru shall once again start caring for the Panth.