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Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Act 1971 is known as a big achievement for Sikh Community through which the control of historic gurdwaras in Delhi came in the hands of local electorates.

After Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Sri Amritsar set up in June 1926 under the ‘Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1925, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) is the second largest religious body constituted on April 28, 1975 under the Delhi Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1971 with the main objective to control and manage Gurdwaras and Gurdwaras property in Delhi. Several instances have come to notice from time to time about direct or indirect political interference in gurdwara affairs and it is pertinent that the government in power always wishes to use religious stages to increase their vote bank and this motive is fulfilled by some religious leaders for their personal interests under religious shelter.

In present time also, a big reshuffling is seen in the Delhi Sikh politics. Whereas a section of 30 recently elected members having control of the DSGMC’s Executive Body claimed to have formed their own new party in the name of ‘Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi State’, but on the other hand opposition groups have surprised everyone by their sudden affection to their rival party namely ‘Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal). In the recent past, the workers of the JAGO party in a meeting held by them have strongly appealed their President

Manjit Singh G.K. to take control of the Badal Akali Dal. In this campaign, ‘Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi’ headed by its President Paramjit Singh Sarna went a step ahead and called a meeting of Sikh intellectuals in Ludhiana thereby making an appeal to save the deteriorating image of Badal Akali Dal. A question is being raised to these opposite factions of Badal Dal in Delhi involved in Sikh politics that why have they suddenly come forward to save the identity of their opposite party, when the political image of the Badal Akali Dal was continuously going down for the last long stint of time ?

Why these opposite groups are bent upon to save the identity of Badal Dal whereas it is well known that neither these groups will shun their ego and become unite nor the command of Badal Akali Dal can come in their hands easily because the Badal Dal has already constituted a 21 members committee under the command of its veteran leader Jathedar Avtar Singh Hit to control this sensitive situation.

It cannot be ruled out that the new groups/parties have suddenly come up because all effort to take control of Executive Board of the DSGMC by Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) and JAGO Party in connivance with the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) was badly tarnished by the members who took one-sided win in recent election of the DSGMC Executive Board under support of Manjinder Singh Sirsa, DSGMC President who has recently joined the BJP, But it has to be seen that to what extent the new coalition can affect the Sikh politics in Delhi.

The political interference can be a big reason for the deteriorating financial crunch in the educational institutions of DSGMC which are on the verge of closure and also for time to time allegations of misuse of Gurdwara funds, which raises many questions about the working of the DSGMC.

In this way, great loss of ‘Guru ki Golak’ is being done whereas the cash offering of Sangat is required to be used solely for religious purposes. The DSGMC elected members should work for the welfare of the community and Sikh religion by shunning away their personal and political motives otherwise the Sangat will come forward and will not hesitate to make sacrifices to save these Gurdwaras from dirty politics.

About the author:
Inder Mohan Singh

Inder Mohan Singh Inder Mohan Singh, an expert in Delhi Gurdwara elections is a member of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee. While in government service with the Delhi government he was behind the conduct of Gurdwara body polls from 1977 to 2006. He takes active part in religious deliberations in the Delhi Gurdwara body.

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