The Times of India – CKD management cancels executive, general house meetings

Yudhvir Rana

Amritsar-Panjab-India, 7 January 2018. A day after former president of Chief Khalsa Diwan (CKD) Charanjit Singh Chadha got interim bail in the sexual harassment case, its management cancelled the executive committee meeting slated for January 10.

Earlier, it had cancelled the general house on January 2. The meetings were convened with a single-point agenda to approve the suspension of Chadha and his late son Inderpreet Singh Chadha from the primary membership of CKD.

“We have postponed the meetings and will announce new dates soon,” CKD secretary Narinder Singh Khurana told TOI on Saturday. He said that meetings had been postponed due to death of Inderpreet, who had committed suicide on January 3.

“Technically Chadha is still CKD president since he appointed Dhanraj Singh as the officiating president due to his absence,” Khurana said, adding that CKD office-bearers had only recommended suspension of both Charanjit and Inderpreet but it was the 31-member executive committee that had to approve recommendations by three-fourth majority that was to be approved later by general house before actual suspension of both.

Sources added that a group of CKD executive members aligned with Charanjit were actively pursuing to get suspension recommendation proposal dropped in executive committee meeting so that he remained a member and could later on decide about the presidentship, besides there would be no need for the general house.

When asked how to control the damage done to CKD’s reputation after four of its members, namely Surjit Singh, Inderpreet Singh Anand, Hari Singh Sandhu and Nirmal Singh, were booked by police following suicide by Inderpreet, Khurana replied, “They could have business interests with the Chadhas but CKD has nothing to do with their personal and business life.”

According to sources, a group led by senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders was in a bid to wrest control of the CKD management even as Akal Takht jathedar has already announced that the high priests would take decision on running the Sikh body.

The Takhat had already summoned Chadha to appear before Sikh high priests following an objectionable video of his with a woman that went viral on the internet on December 26, 2017.


546. Akal Takht & it’s Jathedar

In 1606 Guru Hargobind and Baba Buddha built a platform which was 12 feet in height in defiance of a decree Mughal Emperor Jahangir that no one but his own royal personage be allowed to sit on a dais over three feet in height.

Guru Hargobind called it the Akál Takht, the Throne of the Deathless One (God). Inside Harmandr Sahib the Ádi Granth, the first version of Guru Granth Sahib, was installed as the Shabad Guru, the Teacher of the Word (of God).

There was no building, there was no institution with its own Maryada, nor was there any suggestion that whoever was in charge of this Takht was the ruler of the Sikh panth.

When Guru Hargobind lived in Kartarpur (Jalandhar) and Kiratpur, and during the the Guruship of Guru Har Rai, Guru Har Kishan, Guru Teg Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh the Harmandr Sahib complex was in charge of non-mainstream Sikhs. These ‘sikhs’ never thought that because they were in charge of the Akál Takht they could issue Hukamnamas that had to be followed by the panth.

The Akál Takht as a concept went with the Guru Sahib to Kartarpur, Kiratpur and Anandpur.

Guru Gobind Singh ordained that after his passing away the Sikhs would be ruled by the Guru Panth (Sikh community) under the guidance of the Guru Granth. He did not say that any power was vested in Jathedars or in any building.

The missal system, established after the death of Banda Singh Bahadur consisted of 11 fighting missals (guerrilla groups) and one group of veterans, the Buddha Dal. Their Jathedar played a role in the functioning of the Sarbat Khalsa, which was the meeting of all the missals.

Decisions were made by the Sarbat Khalsa while striving for unanimity. A decision taken in this manner was called a Gurmatta. The Jathedar of the Buddha Dal would then make this Gurmatta official by announcing it from the Ákal Takht.

This is comparable with procedures that exist in many countries where decisions made by parliament are made official by the signature of a head of state.

I am not suggesting that during the missals period Sikhs were always sensible, and only fought for the values laid down by the Guru Sahib, selflessly serving the wider interest of all peoples of their areas of influence.

But If we want to practice Guru Gobind Singh’s Guru Granth/Guru Panth we should copy elements of the arrangements that existed in the missal time. Gurdwaras and Sikh organisations would be the missals, and sarbat khalsas could meet discussing Sikh issues on the level of countries, continents and world-wide.

What we don’t want is Jathedars without jatha who instead of serving the the panth serve corrupt political masters.