This Resolution Finally Allows Women To Sing Inside The Golden Temple

This Resolution Finally Allows Women To Sing Inside The Golden Temple
Trip Advisor

The Sikh way of life had always been associated with strict adherence to personal discipline, cleanliness, the development of a strong family life, as well as ensuring community well-being. This is only a part of the Sikh Rehat Maryada, a code of conduct for Sikhism approved by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, (the apex management body of the Golden Temple) in 1945. It is one of the many Rahitnamas (codes of conduct) written for Sikhs. However, over the years, the Rahitnamas have been interpreted in a way that stoked the debate on gender discrimination. In 2012, two N.R.I. women were prevented from participating in the “Sukh aasan” ritual, (a daily late night ritual of shifting the Guru Granth Sahib from the sanctum sanctorum to the Akal Takht precincts) and allegedly roughed up by male devotees and volunteers of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). However, things have taken a turn for the better since that time, with the Punjab Assembly unanimously passing a resolution, which urges the Akal Takht and the SGPC to allow Sikh women to sing hymns in the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

The resolution was moved by state minister Tript Rajinder Bajwa who said Sikhism founder, Guru Nanak Dev, fought against caste and gender equality throughout his life, and that this discrimination against women should also end. He also rejected an Akali leader’s claim that according to the Sikh ‘’rehat maryada’’ (religious code of conduct), Sikh women are not allowed to perform ‘’Kirtan’’ at the ‘’Darbar Sahib’’. Akali MLA Parminder Singh Dhindsa said the resolution which was moved on the concluding day of the special session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, depicted that the Akal Takht (supreme temporal seat of Sikhs) or the SGPC (apex gurdwara body) are deliberately refusing women to sing hymns at the Golden Temple. This shows how political leaders had always appropriated religion as a tool for suppressing women.

Bajwa was supported by AAP MLA Kultar Singh Sandhwan who criticised Akali leaders for raising questions over the resolution brought by the government. However, the Shiromani Akali Dal, that earlier objected to the wording of the resolution, later came out in support. As per the resolution, “Guru Nanak Dev had visualised a society in which there would be no place for discrimination or distinction on the basis of caste or creed, social status or gender, a society that is to be based upon the principle of egalitarianism and committed to welfare of all.”

“It is for this reason that there is no instance of discrimination in Gurbani or Sikh Gurus history at any level between man and woman. It is, however, unfortunate that the Sikh women are not allowed to perform ‘Kirtan’ in the sanctum sanctorum of the Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, the most venerated shrine of the Sikhs where there is no space for discrimination,” it further said.

If you enjoyed reading this article, we suggest you also read:

Related Stories

No stories found.