Large Gurmat Samagam held on the occasion of 101st Foundation Day of SGPC

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SGPC did important work during its 100 year journey: Giani Harpreet Singh

Only Sikhs have a democratic religious body like SGPC: Sukhbir Singh Badal

SGPC always considered it duty to pursue Sikh issues: Bibi Jagir Kaur

Amritsar, November 16

A large Gurmat Samagam (religious congregation) was organised at Gurdwara Sri Manji Sahib Diwan Hall at Sri Amritsar on the occasion of 101st Foundation Day of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, which was attended by prominent personalities of the Panth (community).

Speaking on this occasion, Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib Giani Harpreet Singh, President of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) S. Sukhbir Singh Badal, SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur and other spokespersons of the community shared the history of SGPC representing the Sikhs in their speeches, appreciated the Panthic contribution made by the organisation and stressed on the need for Panthic unity.

In his address, Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh said that the history of the prestigious body of the Sikh Panth, SGPC, has remained very glorious and during its 100-year journey it has seen many ups and downs and it has done great works.

“Facing the government’s repression and oppression, hundreds of members and employees of the SGPC have sacrificed their lives and went to jails in large numbers. This Sikh body has never surrendered to the oppression but persevered for the Charhdi Kala (high spirit) of the Panth by enduring oppression and moved forward. I appeal to the Qaum to unite to further strengthen SGPC and to committee management to come up with effective programs for flourishing the Sikh faith in future”, said Giani Harpreet Singh.

S. Sukhbir Singh Badal said that there is no other religious body as SGPC in the entire world, which was established by the community with sacrifices.

“It is the only democratic body which manages Sikh shrines like an independent parliament. SGPC has done great work since its formation and pursues the Sikh issues across the world wherever the Sikhs face difficulties. As per the Sikh doctrine of Miri-Piri (close relationship between politics and faith), the Shiromani Akali Dal was formed just one month after the foundation of SGPC and both organisations jointly fought on many issues of the community and recorded the victories”, said Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Sukhbir Singh Badal said that efforts are being made by anti-forces to bring down the SGPC and SAD, which are leading organisations of the Sikh Panth but these bodies are always ready for Panthic activities as per their nature.

“Today, there is a need to unite and counter the manoeuvres of anti-Sikh forces because if Sikh institutions become weak then the community will also be weakened. It is the duty of every Sikh to strengthen the Panthic institutions. The leaders of Sikh institutions are always changing but the institutions are and will remain prominent”, said Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Sukhbir Singh termed the Congress as the enemy of the Sikhs and said that this party has time and again manoeuvred to dismantle SGPC and other the Sikh institutions. He said that the community can never forget 1984 attack on Sri Darbar Sahib and the genocide of Sikh in Delhi and other states. He said this is the cruelty of the Congress, the enemy of Sikhs, from which it can never be absolved.

“The affidavit given (in the Supreme Court) by the Punjab government in the favour of Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (ad-hoc) proves in present time that the Congress never wanted the welfare of the Sikhs. It has always worked with the intention and policy of breaking up the SGPC”, said Sukhbir Singh Badal.

S. Sukhbir Singh appealed to the Sikh Sangat to be part of the SGPC’s Dharam Prachar Lehar and also come forward in humanitarian work and congratulated on the occasion of 101st Foundation Day of SGPC and prayed for the Charhdi Kala of the Sikh community.

Speaking in her address SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur gave a brief account of the services rendered by the SGPC during its 100 year journey and also put the light on future priorities.

Bibi Jagir Kaur announced that in order to intensify the flourishing of the Sikh faith, preachers of different languages would be recruited and sent on tours to different states and countries. She also unveiled two plans to communicate the Sikh history to the masses.

Bibi Jagir Kaur said, “The Central Sikh Museum would be further expanded, in which the Sikh history would be portrayed in a modern way through portraits and paintings. An auditorium would be set up at a suitable place near the SGPC office and arrangements would be made to play on screen the plays and documentaries related to the Sikh history.”

She said that plans would be made in future to connect the Sikh youth with the history through modern means and illustrated books would be prepared for the children.

“SGPC has always been serious about the burning issues of the Sikh Panth and work would be done in future also to simplify every Sikh issue”, she said.

“The government of India has announced the release of the Sikh prisoners on the occasion of the 550th Parkash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji but it is unfortunate that the government has backtracked from its own announcement”, said SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur.

She said that on the completion of the 100th year Foundation Day of SGPC, the SGPC announces that efforts would be made at every-level for the release of the Sikh prisoners.

She said SGPC has always pursued the Sikh issues and is committed to do so in future also.

Bibi Jagir Kaur said that the SGPC is proud to be the foremost body for equality in the society as she was honoured by the community to lead this body as its President. She also said that women got the right to vote for the first time in SGPC and that the Sikh body has always been following the Panthic traditions and customs and would continue to do so in the light of its history.

Meanwhile, Head Granthi Giani Jagtar Singh of Sri Harmandar Sahib, senior leader of SAD S. Jagmeet Singh Brar, SGPC General Secretary Advocate Bhagwant Singh Sialka and Chief Secretary Advocate Harjinder Singh Dhami also expressed their views and appealed to the Sikh community to unite for strengthening the SGPC. Spokespersons said that this institution was created with the blood of martyrs and the enemy forces which are trying to destroy it cannot spoil it. They said that if the community would move forward unitedly then surely the flags of Sikhs would be hoisted all over the world.

Earlier, bhog (culmination) of Sri Akhand Path Sahib was held at Sri Akal Takht Sahib and the hazuri raagi jathas of Sri Harmandar Sahib connected the Sangat with Gurbani Kirtan. The history of SGPC was presented to the Sangat by the Dhadi (balladeers) and Kavishari (poetry) groups. On this occasion, SGPC honoured the Panthic personalities with Siropaos (robes of honour). SGPC also organised a painting exhibition depicting the history of the organization, in which paintings of Morchas launched during the Gurdwara Reform Movement, massacres of the Sikh community and others were displayed for the Sangat.

Others present on this occasion included Jathedar of Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib Giani Raghbir Singh, additional head granthi of Sri Harmandar Sahib Giani Jagtar Singh Ludhiana, head granthi of Sri Akal Takht Sahib Giani Gurmukh Singh, SGPC senior vice-president S. Surjit Singh Bhitewad, SGPC junior vice-president Baba Buta Singh, former SGPC President S. Gobind Singh Longowal, former minister Jathedar Gulzar Singh Ranike, Sant Balbir Singh Ghunas, a large number of SGPC executive committee members and members and official

Gurbhej Singh Anandpuri
Author: Gurbhej Singh Anandpuri

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