Amritsar, December 6 – Glaring difference of opinion on the definition of “Sehajdhari Sikh”, prepared by the SGPC executive committee and panel of experts may put the Shiromani Committee in the spot.
The panel of Sikh experts have clearly concluded , “A person cannot claim to be a Sehajdhari by trimming/cutting his/her beard or eyebrows in any manner”. The meeting of the panel, held here on December 4 was necessitated when objections were raised on the definition of Sehajdhari, passed in the executive committee meeting of the Shiromani Committee, held on December 3 at Chandigarh. However, some members of the panel alleged the SGPC ignored the suggestions made by them at the meeting held under the presidentship of Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, SGPC general secretary and necessary amendments were not made in the resolution passed by the executive committee meeting on December 3..
Bhaur, Kiranjot Kaur, G.S.Lamba, Prof Suba Singh and Dr Jasbir Singh Sabar- all members of the expert panel of the SGPC said they stood by the definition passed by them on December 4.
To a question, Kiranjot Kaur , an SGPC member, said the resolution of the SGPC executive committee about the definition of Sehajdhari was contrary to the one passed by them (Sikh expert panel). Editor of Sikh monthly, Sant Sipahi, G.S.Lamba , one of the six members also expressed shock the executive body had ignored the recommendations , made by the experts.
The SGPC executive committee had reiterated the definition given in the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925, according to which the Sehajdhari Sikhs are those who are born in non-Sikh families, but follow the tenets of Sikhism. A Sehajdhari Sikh is thus a non-Sikh who performs ceremonies according to Sikh rites; who does not use tobacco, does not consume halal meat in any form; who is not a “patit” and who recites the mulmantra of Guru Granth Sahib.
In the resolution passed at a meeting held this evening, the SGPC pointed out the definition of Sehajdhari given in the Section 2 (10-A) of the Gurdwara Act states the word “sehajdhari” consists of two words “sehaj” (slowly) and “dhari” (adopt a religious path) and hence these are those novices who slowly move on the path of Sikhism to adopt its doctrine, ethics and tenets.
A Sehajdhari, therefore, is one who has entered the path of Sikhism and he will continue to be a Sehajdhari Sikh till he fully accepts the moral and spiritual vows of Sikhism, to be called a practising Sikh. The SGPC resolution also made it clear that when a Sehajdhari Sikh becomes a keshdhari Sikh, but he chooses to trim his body hair, he will not be a Sehajdhari Sikh. Similarly, if a person born into a Sikh family (and is a Sikh), but chooses to disrespect his keshdhari roop he will not turn into a Sehajdhari Sikh but become a “patit”.
However, Lamba and Kiranjot Kaur alleged such a definition passed by the SGPC executive body would have far-reaching effects .
Sabar, another member of the expert panel said the definition of Sehajdhari, passed by the experts should be accepted in toto.
By Varinder Walia