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Vishav Sikh Ikatarta: Reflections from a Sikh Naujawan in the Diaspora

July 24, 2023 | By

As a Sikh Naujwaan from the Diaspora I felt immensely fortunate to participate in the Vishav Sikh Ikatarta on June 28, 2023. Reflecting back on this experience, there are multiple aspects of the gathering that carry deep-rooted lessons for Naujawan around the world and light our path forward.

Importance of the Vishav Sikh Ikatarta: The Vishav Sikh Ikatarta holds immense importance as it marks a diligent and sincere effort to break away from the status quo of making panthic decisions through majority-rule (elections) or centralized leadership (by one person/group). This gathering seeks to revive the tradition of collective decision-making through the Gurmatta tradition and panch pardhani leadership. Despite the challenges posed by a 100-year gap and constant attacks on Sikh being and character, it is crucial to revive the sovereignty of the Guru Khalsa Panth under an Azaad (free) Akal Takhat. Without this effort for the revival of our Guru-inspired traditions, the panth will lack its true collective strength in the face of the massive challenges before us today.

A view of Vishav Sikh Ikatarta held on 28 June 2023 at Anandpur Sahib | Image: Sikh Siyasat News

Importance of Nishkaam Sangarshi Singhs calling the Gathering: Institutions that hold significant influence in the Panth currently face a lack of trust due to compromised leadership, conflicts of interests, or other external factors influencing their decision-making. To counter this predicament and free the Panth from these malignant influences, it becomes essential for individuals who have dedicated their life to our Sangarsh and have made significant sacrifices for the Panth, to come forward once again. These selfless Panth sewaks, known for their commitment, integrity, credibility, and kamayee initiated the Vishav Sikh Ikatarta as facilitators to mobilize genuine panthic ekta (unity) in line with our own traditions rather than formal “leaders” of a hierarchical organization or political party.

Efforts leading up to the Vishav Sikh Ikatarta to build Desire and Momentum: The Panth Sewaks organized multiple gatherings and engaged in discussions with broad cross-sections of the panth over the past year. Engaging with different groups, factions, and demographics they conducted this massive consultative exercise to identify the various issues and priorities before the panth today, and worked to lay the foundations for internal consensus-building. Based on this process, they took this crucial step to begin the process of collective decision regarding liberation of Sri Akaal Takhat as the first step forward. These broad discussions which have continued non-stop for over a year laid the foundations for this gathering.

Representative Participation Instead of Large Crowds: The Vishav Sikh Ikatarta focused on representative participation from various panthic jathebandis/sampardas that are active in some kind of panthic seva. Each jathebandi presented their suggestions on one specific issue: How can we liberate the Akal Takhat from its current management under the Indian state and voting system which has been monopolized by one political party, and how can we rejuvenate the Seva Sambhal of Akaal Takht Sahib so that it can truly represent the Guru Khalsa Panth.
I was fortunate enough to participate in this effort through the Windsor Sikh Panthic Jatha. Our discussions started with understanding the importance of this ikatarta and sending our representatives to Punjab to actively participate in the gathering. The organizers were gracious enough and allowed Sikhs from around the world to participate and give their veechar through zoom. The organizers provided necessary documents and prepared videos to guide us through the process. Our Jatha’s focus was on the creation of a genuine Akali Jatha, and we presented our perspective and suggestions for its success.

Accomplishments and Success of Vishav Sikh Ikatarta: The Vishav Sikh Ikatarta sets a significant precedent by reviving the collective decision-making process through panch pardhani leadership. Unlike previous panthic gatherings, where decisions were already predetermined unilaterally by the organizers themselves, this gathering served as a platform for genuine discussion as representatives presented their suggestions and ideas. Another unique aspect of Sikh traditions that was revived was that historically during a Sarbat Khalsa only one pressing issue was discussed for a Gurmata. Focus shouldn’t be diverted by discussing a multitude of issues, and the Gurmata should always address that specific issue head on by making a concrete policy decision on steps forward. If there was multiple Gurmatas it would be counterproductive to the process of reviving tradition. We have seen how previous gatherings have had multiple resolutions but lacked planned execution to actually be carried out and have only caused disappointment within the Panth. With the grace of the Sangat, Panj Pyare and Guru Sahib, a Gurmata was adopted according to puratan maryada after 100 years, a significant triumph for the Guru Khalsa Panth. Moving forward, through the collective leadership of the panth sewaks, the panth should maintain ongoing discussions with participating jathas to organize similar gatherings and implement the next steps required for the successful liberation of the Akal Takhat by a Nishkam Akali Jatha.

In conclusion, the Vishav Sikh Ikatarta represents a significant milestone in reviving collective decision-making and panch pardhani leadership within the Khalsa Panth. By emphasizing the importance of selfless, decentralized collective leadership and the liberation of the Akal Takhat, this gathering has laid the foundation for future efforts aimed at reestablishing sovereignty of the Khalsa Panth through the Akal Takhat based on the principles of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Triman Singh
Windsor Sikh Panthic Jatha


Reviving the Gurmatta: Reestablishing Effective Panthic Leadership and Decision-Making






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