October 5, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Amritsar, Punjab (October 05, 2013): According to media reports the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has registered a body named “SGPC USA Incorporated” under the US Law. It is notable that SGPC is a statutory body in India and it’s prime task is to manage the affairs of Historic Sikh Gurudwaras in Punjab and adjoining states of Haryana, Himachal Pardesh and Chandigarh.
As per information SGPC’s US body is registered by the US authorises after the SGPC’s request to the US government for permission to built International Sikh Centre at Yuba City in California state for promoting Sikhism in America, Canada and the other countries in that region. According to Hindustan Times (HT) “[t]his centre is proposed on 13.5 acres donated by US Sikh entrepreneur Didar Singh Bains”.
It is notable that according to the constituent enactment (the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925) the SGPC is a localized body whose jurisdiction does not extend certain states to which the “Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925” is applicable, and there is no provision in the 1925 ACT that enables the SGPC to register any bodies on foreign lands.
While disclosing the registration of the body in United States Avtar Singh Makkar President of the SGPC reportedly told the media at Amritsar on October 04, 2013: “For getting the land registered and building the centre, the SGPC had to get itself registered under the US laws. This is a historic moment, as this is the first official recognition that the SGPC has got in the western world”.
According to media reports a four-member delegation of the SGPC was in the US to complete the necessary work regarding registration of the new body.
The delegation comprises SGPC senior vice-president Raghujit Singh Virk, general secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, executive member Rajinder Singh Mehta and additional secretary Paramjit Singh Saroa.
According to HT “[c]ases of hate crime against Sikhs prompted the SGPC to fast track the International Sikh Centre proposal”.
As per information the centre’s foundation stone will be laid in February 2014. In November, the SGPC proposes to organise Nagar Kirtan’ (religious procession) in Yuba City on Parkash Gurpurb of Guru Nanak Ji.
“Besides preaching Sikhism, International Sikh Centre in Yuba City will explain the religion and its separate and distinct identity and articles of faith to the Americans. There have been cases of racial assault where Sikhs were mistaken as terrorists because of their turban. This global centre will coordinate with the US and other governments and, through literature in many languages, promote Sikh history, culture and Gurbani”, the Hindustan Times (HT) has reported.
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