Amritsar, Aug.7 : Heads of various Sikh organizations on Thursday witnessed the annointment and coronation of Giani Gurbachan Singh as the acting Jathedar of the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of the Sikh community.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC), the largest representative body of the Sikhs, had appointed Giani Gurbachan Singh as a new acting Jathedar of Akal Takht on Tuesday following the resignation of Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti.
Before taking over as the acting Jathedar of the Akal takht, Gurbachan Singh was the Head Priest of the Sri Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple) in Amritsar. His annointment was performed by the Giani Mohan Singh, the additional head Granthi of the Golden Temple and he was followed by the other four high priests of the Sikh community in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of the Sikhs.
The Sikh community has five Takhts, a sacred seat of the Sikhs, namely Sri Akal Takhat Sahib , Sri Damdama Sahib, Sri Keshgarh Sahib, Sri Hazur Sahib and Sri Patna Sahib and each Takht is headed by a Jathedar, the high Sikh clergy.
The heads of various organization including SGPC, Sant Samaj, Damidami Taksal, Akhand Kirtani Jatha and Nihang organizations etc, were present.
It is pertinent to mention that Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti alleged that SGPC has forcefully taken his resignation on Monday. SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar refuted the charges and said that Vedanti had tendered his resignation of his own free will.
While addressing the gathering at Akal Takht on the occasion of the coronation ceremony, Makkar said the Sikh community is facing many challenges in many shapes including Dera culture, drug abuse and apostate in Sikh youths. He appealed to all Sikh organizations to unite to fight these challenges and to strengthen the hands of the Jathedar of the Akal Takht.
The tradition for the appointment of Jatehdar came in practice during the era of sixth Sikh Guru (master) Hargobind Sahib who laid the foundation of Akal Takht and appointed Bhai Gurdas as first Jathedar Akal Takht who remained up to the year of 1694.
Expressing gratitude to all Sikh organizations specially the DamDami Taksal, the newly appointed acting Jathedar Akal Takht Giani Gurbachan Singh requested for cooperation from the Sikh Diaspora to maintain the supremacy of the Akal Takht and for the "chardi kalan" (high spirits) of the Sikh community. However, the Jathedar refrained from speaking on controversial issues like the Dera Sirsa , Turban and Sikh identity etc. in his maiden address to the community.
SGPC came in existence in the year of 1920 and Gurbachan Singh is the 24th Jathedar of the Akal Takht. By Ravinder Singh Robin