Akal Takht imposes ban on carrying of Guru Granth Sahib ‘saroop’ for destination weddings

Akal Takht has banned the carrying of the “saroop” of Sri Guru Granth Sahib for destination weddings for “Anand Karaj”.

The five high priests, headed by Takht Jathedar Giani Raghbir Singh, today imposed a blanket ban on destination weddings with Anand Karaj ceremonies at resorts and beaches.

Giani Raghbir Singh said the decision was taken after complaints were received by the Akal Takht Secretariat that a new trend of outdoor destination weddings had emerged where persons had been grossly violating Sikh principles by carrying the “saroop” to beachside resorts to perform Anand Karaj.

Though the Takht had issued a “hukumnama” on March 16, 1998, imposing a ban on the carrying of the “saroop” outside gurdwaras for Anand Karaj to hotels, banquet halls, clubs and marriage palaces, which generally have orchestra, dancers, pubs and bars, the directive was seldom followed. The “saroop” is not supposed to be carried to places where alcohol, non-vegetarian food or tobacco is served or consumed.

With no room for same-sex marriage in the Sikh religion, the five high priests have taken a serious note of the marriage of two girls solemnised at Gurdwara Sri Kalgidhar Sahib in Bathinda on September 18 in the presence of their families. Giani Raghbir Singh termed the wedding “sheer violation of the religious code”.

The priests unanimously decided to disqualify the entire managing committee of the gurdwara concerned forever. Head granthi Hardev Singh, granthi Ajaib Singh, raagi Sikandar Singh and tabla vadak Satnam Singh have been blacklisted for five years for being part of the controversial wedding. They will not be deputed at any gurdwara or religious programme.

The priests have directed dera sect head Darshan Singh Gumtala, facing charges of immoral activities, to apologise publicly for the offence by appearing before Akal Takht in person. Until then, he would not take part in any religious activity. Jagjeet Singh, a nominated member of Gurdwara Guru Singh Sabha, Indore, who was found guilty of disrupting the process of gurdwara polls, has been expelled.

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