Akal Takht, the primary seat of Sikh religious authority, has banned the installation of Guru Granth Sahib in houses having liquor bars or where substances like tobacco, other intoxicants and halal meat are consumed.
This decision was taken at a meeting of the Sikh clergy at the Akal Takht secretariat in Amritsar on Tuesday.
Giving details about the decision, Akal Takht Jathedar (high priest) Giani Gurbachan Singh said keeping the Guru Granth Sahib in houses of Sikhs who had made liquor bars in their drawing rooms was tantamount to showing utter disrespect to the holy book, which is considered a living embodiment of Sikh gurus.
Besides liquor bars, the Sikh families using substances that are against the basic tenets of the religion have also been cautioned against keeping the holy book in their homes.
“Sikh families who consume ‘halal’ meat, smoke hookah, charas (hashish) and tobacco also can’t have the holy book in their homes. We also advise Sikhs to abstain from such practices. Else, religious action would be taken against them on receiving any such complaint or violation,” said Gurbachan.
The Takht has also banned placing Guru Granth Sahib or holding its prayers at samadhs or places which worship the dead. The Takht also banned printing of Guru Granth Sahib by anyone else but the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). In another decision, Sikh high priests on Wednesday declared SGPC member from Doda, Navtej Singh Kauni, as ‘Tankhayia’ (religious atonement).
A member from the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Kauni was spotted at a Dera Sauda Sirsa function on May 16, 2013. The Sikh high priests found him guilty of ‘religious misconduct’ and asked him to do Sewa at Darbar Sahib, Muktsar Sahib for 18 days and hold prayers. The Takht had already declared controversial Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda out of bound for the Sikhs.
But Kauni knowing the Takht’s directives violated the Hukamnama and went to participate in the function. In his clarification, Kauni admitted to have visited Dera but said he went for a while to deliver some message to someone and agreed for the religious punishment delivered by the Sikh clergy.
Last year he had appeared before Akal Takhat and underwent Tankhah for participating in a DSS function. Dera Sacha Sauda has been declared to be a sect undertaking anti-Sikh activities and Akal Takhat has directed Sikhs to socially and politically boycott it but it was a surprise that Badal’s own party man in the SGPC was not following the directives from the Takht.
Also Charanjit Singh from Ludhiana who is in USA was also declared Tankhayia for carrying the ‘Birs’ in the suitcase to the US which were stopped by some devoted Sikhs. He will undergo Sewa and hold prayers and only then he will be permitted to go to US.