March 11, 2023 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Amritsar (March 11, 2023): A collective of panth sewaks, who directly participated in the Sikh sangarsh as guerrillas, leaders, thinkers, supporters, and sympathizers, announced an initiative to host an international level Sikh gathering at Sri Anandpur Sahib on Miri-Piri Divas this year. The proposed intention of the gathering is to address the current challenges facing Sikhs around the world today, with a primary focus on coming to a collective resolution on re-establishing panch pardhani (collective) leadership and gurmatta-based decision-making at Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib.
Members of the collective include Bhai Daljit Singh, Bhai Narain Singh, Bhai Lal Singh Akalgarh, Bhai Bhupinder Singh Bhalvan, Bhai Satnam Singh Khandewala, Bhai Rajinder Singh Mughalwal, Bhai Satnam Singh Jhanjian, Bhai Amrik Singh Isru, Bhai Hardeep Singh Mehraj, Bhai Manjit Singh Phagwara, and Bhai Sukhdev Singh Dodd.
Speaking with journalists in Sri Amritsar Sahib today, members of the collective highlighted the instability around the world, the South Asian region, and India, specifically noting the impact that this is having on Punjab and Sikhs. The Delhi Darbar (Indian state) is particularly focused on accelerating polarization and fragmentation within Sikh circles by promoting and emphasizing internal differences and disagreements, as well as stoking controversial issues. On the other hand, Indian agencies and nationalist media outlets are consistently amplifying a manufactured narrative about Punjab and Sikh issues to isolate and neutralize the impacts of Sikh mobilization. This is all happening as a direct response to the monumental strength and capacity Punjab and Sikhs around the world demonstrated through the Kisaan Morcha in recent years. This strategy has been steadily escalating with an indication that the Indian state is focussed on ensuring this intensity and polarization is maintained.
Members of the collective specifically noted the impact of these circumstances on our internal political conditions. They specifically pointed to the fact that those Sikh institutions that developed out of selfless struggle a century ago have now been completely subordinated to the Indian state and further neutralized by a number of internal weaknesses. This is why Sikh institutions have consistently been losing their power and influence. The unprincipled governance of Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib today—which was meant to be our central institution—has raised serious doubts about its credibility and legitimacy. The absence of effective and credible leadership from this institution has only further accelerated internal factionalism and conflict. Benefiting from this internal strife, the Indian is trying to maintain and intensify this environment by provoking suspicion, conspiracy theory, and confusion around issues within the community itself.
Turning towards the direct interference in Sikh institutions, the collective spoke about how the Bipparvadi Modi-Shah government is not only directly interfering in Sikh institutions but is actually facilitating its own occupation of Sikh power centres. At this point, there are countless examples of this phenomenon. The Modi government has successfully co-opted the governance of those takhat sahiban outside of Punjab as well as their relevant gurdwara management committees by directly interfering and installing its own puppets in the decision-making bodies.
The Indian state’s machinations in this regard are clearly indicative of a strategy to isolate, fragment, and weaken Punjab and Sikh institutions in order to make us an easy target of repressive violence and ensure their own unchallenged dominance in the region.
Turning towards what to do in the current crisis, members the collective provided their perspective: internal factionalism and conflict is not beneficial to us in any way. Guru Sahib has blessed Sikhs in these circumstances with the mechanisms of internal dialogue in order to build and maintain effective unity. At this point, the Guru Khalsa Panth and Gur-Sangat must return to our own panthic traditions in order to express our collective aspirations and chart out the next course of action. In order to accomplish this, we need to make collective efforts on two fronts. First, we must establish collective leadership through the panch pradhani tradition and second, regenerate the Guru Khalsa Panth’s tradition of collective decision-making through gurmattay.
Speaking to reporters, Bhai Daljit Singh Bittu shared that the collective has been working non-stop over the past six months to facilitate an internal dialogue amongst traditional Sikh bodies, Sikh institutions, panthic personalities, intellectuals, scholars, naujawan, and parchariks. The next phase of this initiative, will be calling a gathering of Sikhs from around the world at Sri Anandpur Sahib on June 28, 2023 to commemorate Miri-Piri Divas. Sikh organizations, institutions and representatives will be invited from all over the world to participate in the effort to liberate Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib from the influence of electoral parties and shift its governance processes in line with panthic tradition and collective decision-making.
Bhai Daljit Singh reiterated that collective decision-making through gurmattay and collective panch pradhani leadership is the only way to combat the Indian state’s onslaught, and that this will actually empower us to transcend the immediate challenges we are facing in order to take advantage of the strategic opportunities today’s geopolitical scenario presents to us.
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Related Topics: Bhai Amrik Singh Isru, Bhai Bhupinder Singh Pehalwan, Bhai Daljit Singh Bittu, Bhai Hardeep Singh Mehraj, Bhai Lal Singh Akalgarh, Bhai Manjeet Singh Phagwara, Bhai Narain Singh Chaura, Bhai Rajinder Singh Mughalwal, Bhai Satnam Singh Jhanjian, Bhai Satnam Singh Khandewal, Bhai Sukhdev Singh Dod