Shabad: Jhooth Na Bol Pandey – Bhai Harjinder Singh Jee Sri Nagar Wale
The following is second part of the narrative of our further interview with Datuk Sucha.
Datuk Sucha Singh, thank you for speaking to us on the serious issues affecting the Sangat in Malaysia. Arising from the issues you raised can you look further into the raging issues and the consequences and implications of MGC’s decision especially the ban of Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Bani in Gurdwaras, MGC’s Membership of Global Sikh Council Inc. and MGC’s implementation of Global Sikh Council Inc.’s Ek Granth Ek Panth concept.
Datuk Sucha Singh
Thank you. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.
First let us recapitulate the basic material presented in Part 1.
The prohibition and ban on Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Bani is unprecedented in Malaysia and the Sikh World. This coupled with the MGC’s membership of Global Sikh Council Inc. and the enforcement of Ek Granth Ek Panth concept will have far reaching consequences and implications for the Gurdwaras and Sangat in Malaysia. It affects the very basics and foundations of Sikhi, Gurmat, Khalsa Panth and Sikh Institutions notably the position of our Five Takhats, the highest seats of spiritual and temporal Authority of the Sikhs.
Malaysian Gurdwaras Council is constituted by the Sangat of Malaysia. It is our council and the Sangat must be concerned about the Council and the directions it takes especially in religious matters. I speak as one of the pioneers and Past President and most importantly as a concerned member of the Sangat.
We will examine what their decisions are, who made these decisions, how they were made and the authorities they cite to support their decisions and the effects and implications of the decisions. We will analyse the letters, correspondences, writings, documents and actions of MGC and its partners.
But first I will state the premises, the platform and understanding upon which I will discuss the issues.
Firstly no one questions the sole Satguruship and absolute sovereignty of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. No one claims any other Granth as the Satguru or equal in status to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
Secondly no one questions or challenges the Sikh Rehat Maryada. Sikh Rehat Maryada does not prohibit or ban Dasmesh Pita’s Bani, teachings, shabads and hymns.
Thirdly MGC is constituted by the Sangat of Malaysia with lofty Panthic principles and objectives.
And fourthly we owe our allegiance to Guru Panth and the Akaal Takhat and the other four Takhats.
Now the unprecedented decisions relevant to the issues under discussions are:-
- “The Dasam Granth Bani CANNOT be preached or recited in a Gurdwara, other than the 3 Bani that is Jaap, 10 Sawayyas and Benti Chaupai”.
- “The Gurdwaras and Sangat MUST embrace the Ek Granth Ek Panth Ek Maryada”.
- “The MGC should take steps to ensure compliance with the above”.
(hereafter collectively referred to as the decisions)
In the wording they certainly are not advisory in nature. They are directions or hukams so to speak. Note the use of the words “CANNOT” and “MUST”.
We have addressed point number 1 in part 1. In this part 2, I will address point number 2 “Ek Granth Ek Panth Ek Maryada”. Note that point number 3 is linked to both points number 1 and 2 and has been and will be addressed along with these points.
Further to our discussion on the prohibition and ban on Dasam Granth Bani and with reference to MGC response to my interview I reiterate and stand by my position. I have not concerned myself with any curriculum vitae or running of MGC. The only issue is the ban, its effects and implications.
I refer to the Gurmatta 1 of the Akaal Takhat dated 06-06-2008 and Matta No. 2 of the Akaal Takhat. Read together the stand and position of Akaal Takhat is absolutely clear. It certainly does not support the prohibition and ban on Dasam Granth Bani. How can anyone interpret and use any of Akaal Takhat Gurmatta or Matta to justify the ban? I have also referred to the advice. I repeat ADVICE of all the other four Takhats. From their advice and directives their decision and stand on Dasam Bani is also very clear. For a Gursikh, advise and directives on the stand and position is enough. We do not need it to be in the form of Hukamnama, Gurmatta or Matta.
I am informed and I can now reveal that MGC letter dated 12-07-2016 together with the Group Meeting’s decisions were brought to the attention of and given to the Akaal Takhat Jathedar and the other Takhat Sahibhan. The four Takhat Sahibans have responded and issued their advice and directive on the decisions of The Group and MGC, Takhat Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji Patna Sahib by directive dated 22-07-2016, Takhat Sachhkand Sri Hazur Abchalangar Sahib dated 27-07-2016, Takhat Keshgarh Sahib dated 29-07-2016 and Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib dated 05-08-2016.
The Four Takhats Sahiban have given decisions, directives and advice on the decisions of The Group and MGC.
The Gurdwaras and their Council MGC must respect, implement and uphold the directives of the Takhats.
But then MGC questions the very rights of the four Takhats to issue hukamnamas and lays down the limits and perimeters of the right of even Akaal Takhat to issue Hukamnama, Matta, Adesh and opinion (MGC letter of 6th January 2017).
I repeat that the decisions in its application bans ardas but MGC says it has never “banned Ardas in Gurdwaras”. The ban read “The Dasam Granth Bani cannot be preached in a Gurdwara”and the exemption to this are only Jaap, 10 Sawayas and Chaupai Sahib. Ardas is in the Dasam Granth Bani and following the decision it cannot be recited. So MGC either does not understand the implications of their own decisions or forgot or overlooked to include Ardas in the exemptions together with Jaap, 10 Sawayas and Chaupai Sahib?
It is another matter if it was not the intention of MGC to ban ardas or that no one will comply with the prohibition and ban on Ardas except of course Ragi Darshan Singh and his followers who have already changed the Ardas.
From the Akal Takhat and the other Takhats perspective the prohibition and ban cannot be defended. All that I have said is in the context of the prohibition and the ban. If SRM has mentioned Jaap, 10 Sawayas and Chaupai Sahib, has it also prohibited and banned any other Dasam Granth Bani or has it given anyone the right or authority to do so? I cannot find any line in the SRM that prohibits and bans Dasam Granth Bani (as it specifically does for the books of other faiths (anmat) I repeat Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Shabads, hymns and Bani have been and are still being recited and sung in the Harmandir Sahib, The Takhats and the Gurdwaras.
My good faith and bona fide is for Gurmat, Guru Panth and the Sikh Institutions, Akaal Takhat and the other Takhats and if that is seen as mala fide to any group, so be it. It is the President and his men who should ponder and reflect on the state of disrepute that MGC has fallen in the Panthic circles and among the Takhats.
The President of MGC, Jagir Singh in reply to my exhortation to reclaim the Council for Guru Gobind Singh, Guru Panth and the Takhats says
“We are surprised and in fact shocked at Datuk Sucha Singh’s above call. This only shows how far he has drifted from MGC and does not know the actual situation or is deliberately misleading Sangat with a view to achieving a certain agenda. His above statement is typical of a politician and his more than 20 years’ service in the MIC has given him enough political acumen. In fact a person with political leaning should not be aspiring for any post in a religious body like MGC”.
Mr. President, your reaction of surprise and shock over a Panthic call, just shows how far you have drifted from the Panthic principles and objective of MGC. You are not only misleading but lying that too blatantly and stupidly. How low can you go? Have you lost your sanity or ability to address issues and defend your decisions and stand rationally? I have never been a member or involved in MIC all my life and you say 20 years. I am not a politician and I am not involved with any political party. All my life I have been involved with Gurbani. I have spent the most active years of my working life in the service of the Gurdwara and the MGC from its inception. After you became the President I have never given a thought to MGC. I have lived a very private life immersed in Gurbani serving Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji by Guru Ji’s Grace, away from public eye. Visit me in Kluang, I will take care of you. See how I live and what my leanings are, whether political, MGC or Gurbani.
I will not dignify with a response, your other lies, misrepresentation and slander (Ninda). You slander even the Takhats and the Jathedars. The lies, misrepresentations, ignorance and paranoia have been exposed by Gurvichar and others and I don’t need to repeat.
Its liars, slanderers and nindaks who indulge in false ninda who should not hold position in religious bodies.
Show proof of my 20 years of service in MIC or resign as President of MGC which primarily is a Religious body.
It is your ban and concepts that have hurt the sentiments of the Gursikhs and I am only responding. You do not have to speculate on my agenda. My agenda is only to make the Sangat aware that you have exceeded your aukaad ਔਕਾਦ (position), by banning Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Bani Compisition, Shabad and hymns in Gurdwaras.
May Waheguru protect me from arrogance (haumai) but I challenge you to resign as the President. Don’t use or abuse MGC. Debate with me, engage me and engage the Gursikhs on ISSUES of Gurbani, Gurmat, Gurus’ concepts, Guru Granth-Guru Panth, Miri Piri (spiritual and temporal) Khalsa Panth and the Sikh Institutions the Five Takhats otherwise Gurmat is beyond you.
Just enjoy the pleasures and intoxication of the chair (khursi) while it last. And don’t gloat about your achievements. It’s your bans and concepts that has brought such shame and disgrace to MGC that a Takhat Sahiban one of the seats of Authority of the Sikhs has found it fit to call it a Malesh Council but I suppose your Presidential ego and the founder membership of Global Sikh Council Inc. an International American Corporation will not let you realise this and the feeling and sentiment that your decisions have hurt.
Ek Granth Ek Panth
MGC says Ek Granth Ek Panth is rooted in Gurbani. If it is, then no issue. But is it really? Is it in line with Gurmat, Guru Ji’s concepts and the decisions of Guru Panth and the Takhats?
Firstly Ek Granth Ek Panth seeks to exclude the Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Bani from Gurmat against the express decisions, Gurmattas, Mattas and ADVICE of the Five Takhats and against the established Sikh practices and Rehat Maryada.
Here are some of the facts and information of this Ek Granth Ek Panth taken from the letters correspondence writing and documents of MGC and its partners.
It was first adopted and unveiled by Global Sikh Council Inc. at its AGM in 2015 in Paris France. And the objectives of Global Sikh Council Inc. as stated in the Constitution and charter also exclude the Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Bani and teachings as does Ek Granth Ek Panth concept.
In Malaysia Ek Granth Ek Panth was adopted at a meeting of representatives from MGC and a number of Sikh societies. At the meeting it was decided that all Gurdwaras and Sangat MUST embrace EK Granth Ek Panth Ek Maryada and that the Dasam Granth Bani cannot be preached or recited in a Gurdwara. (MGC letter of 12-07-2016)
The MGC proceeds to enforce the above decisions on the Gurdwara and the Sangat.
Interestingly we learn that the Ek Granth Ek Panth Logo is designed as the trademark of and copyrighted by Sikh Vichar Forum (SVF).
More interestingly the trademark and copyright owners of the Logo write on their website that “The slogan Ek Granth Ek Panth Maryada is the brainchild of a Malaysian Gurdwara Council (MGC). It is thus owned by MGC for the purposes of implementation amongst all the Gurdwaras in Malaysia
How can a concept owned by a council, the logo of which is trademark and a copyright, be rooted in Gurbani and be in line with Principles of Gurmat? Trademarks and copyrights are for goods and products; not for Gurmat, Guruji’s concepts. Guruji’s concepts, Gurmat, are not trademarks and copyrights. They are universal and from God. And how do you achieve unity with concepts and logos that are owned trademarks and copyrights?
The Panth will unite under Gurmat and GuruJi’s concepts not logos, trademarks and copyrights.
The objective of Global Sikh Council Inc. the Ek Granth Ek Panth and the ban on Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Bani by MGC are the same and part of the same plan and agenda. The ban appears to be implementation of the objectives of Ek Granth Ek Panth.
MGC membership of the Global Sikh Council Inc.
On the membership of the Global Sikh Council Inc. all documents relating to this Incorporated Company its formation, registration, structure, constitution, charter and objectives are in the Public domain. Its principles and objectives, I have already compared with that of the MGC and the Sikh Institutions particularly Gurmat and the Takhats. They are fundamentally different. Should MGC, constituted as a religious body to preserve, promote, propagate, preach and uphold the teachings of all the Ten Gurus according to establish Sikh practices, be a member of this incorporated entity. Is it in the best interest of the Gurdwaras? Is the sanctity and independence of the Gurdwaras compromised? Let the Gurdwaras and the Sangat decide.
MGC says its decisions are binding on the Gurdwaras. The Sikhs of Malaysia constituted (gave themself) a religious body with very noble Panthic principles and objective stated in the Constitution. It is not constituted as an authority over the Sikhs of Malaysia or the Gurdwaras, the Gurdwaras are independent and MGC derives its powers from the Gurdwaras. MGC is required by its constitution to RESPECT maintain and implement independence of the Gurdwaras. It cannot interpret, enunciate and hand down edicts decisions and directions on Gurbani, Gurmat, Guru Panth and the Takhats that are not in line with Gurmat or the decisions and stand of the Takhats. The authority to enunciate the principles and doctrines as ordained by the Ten Gurus lies with the Guru Panth not with any council national or international. Gurdwaras are required to follow Gurmat Rehat Maryada and the decision of our highest spiritual seats of Authority The Akal Takhat and the Takhats.
For the Organisations whose names are mentioned and implicated in the MGC’s letter of 12-07-2016 the time has come to state their stand. MGC keeps repeating and using the names of these organisations to defend its decisions. Do they owe the loyalty and allegiance to the Gurmat, Guru Panth and Akaal Takhat?
Is it their decision to prohibit and ban Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Bani, compositions, shabads and hymns in Gurdwaras AND to impose and enforce the Ek Granth Ek Panth concept in the Gurdwaras and the Sangat?
And who are these people purportedly representing some organisations and the “Sikh religious scholars” who make unprecedented decisions of such magnitude in implication and application and direct MGC to enforce compliance on the Gurdwaras and the Sangat. Name them please or they should come forward for they have made a very very important decisions on matters affecting Gurmat and the Sikh Institutions, the Takhts
Support or opposition to the Dasam Granth Bani per se is not the problem. Difference of opinion has been there and always will be. It became a problem when a party in the position of power and influence abuse that power to force their views on the Gurdwaras and the Sangat by prohibiting and banning the Dasam Granth Bani against established practice, and against the clear unequivocal decision and stand of the highest spiritual and Temporal seats of Authority. That’s the problem. The President and his men are entitled to their interpretations and views but no one has the right to use the MGC to force their view on others through the prohibitions and bans.
The promoters of Ek Granth Ek Panth say it is needed because they claim that “Sikhs in Malaysia have begun to witness a direct challenge to the authority and leadership of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji” and that “we have also seen sustained attack on the sanctity of SRM”. This is scare and hate mongering. Jugo Jug Atal Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the living light (Jaagdi Jot) of the Ten Gurus has never been and cannot be threatened or rivalled. There is no rival of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
If anyone is challenging or undermining the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Gurmat and the Sikh Institutions it is the Gurmat Virodhi elements.
We have already seen earlier in Part 1 a direct challenge to the authority of the Five Takhats and attempt to render the Takhats irrelevant and powerless.
And the issue now is not just Dasam Granth only.
- Not only Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Bani is slandered, the very basics and fundamentals and foundations of Sikhi is being attacked and undermined. Known anti-Gurmat (Gurmat virodhi) elements are being brought to Malaysia for parchar and as participants in events and conferences.
- One participant at the recent Global Sikh Council Inc. Conference, of which MGC is a founding member, has said and written. “The so called God entity or Ekencar, has handed over the charge of managing every aspect of cosmos to Nature. Ekencar has neither the desire nor the ethical power to interfere in the automated flawless working of the nature.
- Another says that Ek Oangkar should be Ek Oh Beant and refers to Ek Oangkar as a logo.
- Another, very prominent member of the Global Sikh Council, with reference to SGGS JI says that Living Guru is a metaphor, which means or implies that SGGS Ji is not a living Guru in the real sense.
- Another belittles, demeans and denigrates Simran and Kirtan as being of no use and openly challenges Sri Akal Takhat. Yet another produces Nitnem Gutka without Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Bani and Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji without Raagmala.
Never mind these foreign elements. Malaysian Sikhs of the same ilk, will not be left behind. They too belittle, demean and denigrate Simran, Naam Japna, Amrit Vela and other basic Sikh practices.
- Some have slandered Nitnem, and Ardas and Amrit.
These views are in line with Sikh Panth Ex-communicated Ragi Darshan Singh ideology and practices. He has already administered Amrit prepared without the Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s 3 Banis. Do we see Ragi Darshan Singh’s presence and hand at work in Malaysia?
But what is most disturbing is that from their decisions, letters, actions and events it appears that MGC is organising and/or condoning groups who invite, sponsor and support these Gurmat virodhi elements for parchars and events and conferences in Malaysia. MGC should clarify its position and stand with regards to such parchar and activities.
On the other hand it is now emerging that local kirtanias and parcharaks are being prevented from doing regular kirtan and Gurmat parchar in some Gurdwaras. Their programs and events have been stopped or cancelled. This again is unprecedented. Who is behind this?
If all that is not threatening Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Gurmat, Sikhi and Sidhants. What is?
In conclusion I wish to reiterate that the prohibition and ban on Dasam Granth Bani is against and in defiance of the Gurmatta, matta and ADVICE of the Five Takhats. It is against the letter and spirit of the Sikh Rehat Maryada, the constitution and the established Sikh Practice.
Most importantly the Four Takhat Sahibans have responded to the decisions of the Group and MGC, and issued their advice and directives on the matter in writing in clear and unambiguous terms. In the light of this advice and directives the President and all those responsible for the decisions should resign. The Takhats are the highest seats of Authority of the Sikhs and Gurdwaras owe their allegiance to the Takhats. Gurdwaras and their Council MGC must respect, implement and up hold the directives of the Takhats.
I hope all Gursikhs will also heed and implement the Akaal Takhat Matta directing those loyal and dedicated to the Guru Panth to respond appropriately to the mischievous slander of Dasam Pita Bani.
To the Sangat in utter humility I say if what I have written that does not stand to scrutiny of Gurmat please tell me, correct me.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh