Toronto, April 12 (IANS) — After the holy Granth (Guru Granth Sahib) which carries the writings of the first nine Sikhs, the Dasam Granth is another major scripture of the community carrying the writings of the last guru Gobind Singh.
Though only the holy Granth is installed at all gurdwaras (Sikh places of worship) because it was declared the eternal guru of the Sikhs by the last guru (Guru Gobind Singh) before his death in 1708, some gurdwaras associated with his birth and death in Patna and Nanded have also installed the Dasam Granth.
However, Sikh scholars, including Ragi, are against its installation as they suspect the authenticity of the Dasam Granth because of objectionable parts – references to women in derogatory languages, sexual promiscuity and intoxicants – in it.
They say the last Sikh guru could never have written these parts, linking the derogatory parts to conspiracy theories against the community.
But opponents say these scholars are denigrating the Dasam Granth and should be excommunicated from the Sikh religion.
Toronto-based former Akal Takht head priest Ragi was excommunicated from the Sikh clergy last December for voicing his opposition to the scripture.
Last week Ragi, who presided over the Akal Takht at the height of militancy in Punjab in the 1980s, was not allowed to perform kirtan at a suburban gurdwara, with his opponents taking out their kirpans and injuring one of his prominent supporters. The protesters were opposed to the ostracized former Akal Takht head priest being invited to the gurdwara.
Sikhs are not supposed to do anything with someone excommunicated by the Akal Takht – their spiritual and temporal seat in Amritsar.
The use of kirpans in the gurdwara violence led to calls in some section of the media to revisit the issue of kirpan in Canada where the Sikhs won a major legal victory for it in 2006 to let them wear their religious symbol in classrooms and work places.
Toronto, April 13 (IANS) — Toronto-based former Akal Takht head priest Darshan Singh Ragi, who was excommunicated by the Sikh high priests in December for questioning the authenticity of the scripture Dasam Granth, says his voice cannot be silenced.
“When Guru Gobind Singh anointed the holy Granth as the only guru of the Sikhs, how can someone install another scripture next to the holy Granth? The whole controversy ends if the Dasam Granth is removed,” he said.
Without elaborating, he said, “There is a deeper conspiracy by some forces against the Sikh religion. When it was decided by the Akal Takht that the Dasam Granth should not be installed in gurdwaras, why is it being allowed? There is so much in it that flies in the face of what the Sikh gurus stood for.”
Tracing the roots of the controversy, he said most Sikhs in the past didn’t know what this Granth contained. “Fifty years ago there were few scholars and no modes of communication. But now things have changed and people are reading and exchanging views through communication modes.”
He said, “The disputed scripture suits some Sikh orders, including Nihangs, as it sanctions so many things forbidden by the holy Granth. By installing the disputed scripture, they are happy to have got sanction to practice whatever they like.”
Referring to the kirpan attack on his supporters here last week, the former Akal Takht chief said he was hurt by violence on the issue. “Why don’t those indulging in violence read the scripture and then decide for themselves? They will realize that what is in this book is not what the guru himself stood for.”
About his excommunication on the issue, he said the Akal Takht was being misused by people for their selfish ends.
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