NRIs honor Sarna at his trip from
Vancouver to Los Angeles
Los Angeles, Sep 08, 2008
Gary Singh/S. Tawana
On September 01, Paramjit Singh Sarna, President, Delhi Sikh
Gurdwara Management Committee and former President, Delhi Akali
Dal, inaugurated a 16-acre Khalsa School at Surrey (Vancouver)
On Sep. 06, Sarna addressed NRI community leaders and business
men at India's Oven restaurant, Fresno, California.
A few NRI Sikhs collectively told Sarna that young members of
the community are giving up the most visible religious symbol
of Sikh identity - long hair and the turban – in Punjab
and as also in other parts of India. This trend has been growing
during the last 10-15 years. The drug abuse and liquor consumption
in Punjab has reached unprecedented levels. One estimate claims
that sixty per cent of the youth are drug users.
Devinder Singh said that we must educate our children about Sikhism
along with a dream of making them doctors or engineers. Surinder
Singh Johal ( known as Sarpanch) said that we must find a solution
for the rampant use of drugs and hold the government and SGPC
responsible for their lack of aggressive action on this issue
NRIs requested Mr. Sarna to establish an engineering college
in New Delhi, so that NRI students will be able to get engineering
degree there along with knowledge of Sikhism. ….. (Press
release by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Managing Editor, Lok News &
Quami Ekta, Fresno)
On Sep. 07, Mr. Sarna was honored by a NRI community at Mr. Gurdip
Singh Malik’s home, LAcanada (Los Angeles) . More than 100
people participated in the reception including Dr. A.S. Marwah,
Dr. H Sahota, Dr. Gurnam Singh Pannu, Dr. Jasbir Mann, Dr. M.
Hayreh, Dr. Hakam Singh and Parladh Singh.
Interestingly, questions by these individuals were: how to promote
Sikhism, how to educate our future generation and hot topic was
formation of SGPC in Haryana, and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management
NRI press media concluded from
the statement of Mr. Sarna at Fresno and at Los Angeles as follows:
Mr. Sarna said:
Jathedar should not be employee of SGPC or any such committee.
Jathedar (high priest) of Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat
of Sikhs in Amritsar is an employee of Shiromani Gurdawara Parbhandak
Committee (SGPC) which is controlled by the ruling Akali Party
in Punjab. The treatment of former Akal Takhat Jathedar has once
again strengthened the belief that politics and religion are integral
part for Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) even in pure religious issues.
The Shiromani Akali Dal would appoint or fire Jathedar at the
whims of the Akali Dal president even though it may amount to
insulting the institution of high priest of Akal Takht. It is
irony that political bosses of SAD have thrown all traditions
of appointing Jathedar of Akal Takht to the wind. The political
agenda of the Akali Dal politicians has been ruining the age old
tradition of Sikh faith.
Whenever Akali Dal came in power in Punjab, nothing
has been done regarding:
• The 1984 Sikh Massacre
• Freeing Sikhs from Jodhpur jail
• Setting up programs to deal with the drug problems
If any RSS or BJP leader comes to Harminder Sahib for darshan,
they are honored by Saropas because they are partner with Akali
Dal. Last time when Cap. Arminder Singh ex-Chief Minister, a great
respected Sikh leader went there, no saropa was provided.
I can only say that, Badal Sahib made great success by making
thousands acres land and hotels from his 200 acres land.
Mr. Sarna said Delhi Parbandhak Committee never collected funds
but we have so many Sikh parwars who donate millions of rupee
for good causes. If any poor lady comes to our office to fight
a case and needs lawyer's fees, our committee always helps her.
We helped more than 1200 widows of 1984 Sikh Massacre by giving
We also are running schools, colleges, job training institutes,
nursing schools, accommodations (sarans) and hospitals. We are
also constructing Guru Teg Bahadur Memorial where school and hostel
will be established for NRI children. We are establishing this
project with 200 acre land. We are in the process of establishing
The modern hospital with all facilities is being built near Gurdwar
Bala Sahib. Very small fees from patients will be charged and
up to 25% patients will have free treatment. This hospital will
be supervised by qualified and respected people of India as well
as by NRIs worldwide. Only one trustee will be taken from Delhi
Parbandhak Committee who will be the current president
He said Sant Babas and political leaders from Punjab come to
foreign countries to collect money for some projects and NRIs
donate lot of money to them. Did you ever ask them where had they
spent this money?
The problem is the money crazy, rotten, uneducated and uncultured
politicians who think only of themselves and their crooked henchmen
Mr. Sarna also requested to approve three proposals
1. No other granth will be parkashed near Guru Granth Sahib.
Sant Baba or Mahant shall never sit (with Asans) equal to Guru
2. No Gurdawara Parbhandak Committee shall have the power to appoint
or fire Jathedar(high priest) of Akal Takht. This power must be
given to Sikh representatives of the world
3. Help and solve the difficulties of NRI Sikhs living worldwide
Referring to the demand of Sikhs of Haryana for separate
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has sought the Prime Minister's
intervention to stop Haryana from granting approval to such a
body. It feels such a body would create unrest among Sikhs who
may see it as interference in their religious affairs by the Congress
and the Haryana government.
Mr. Sarna said:
If Delhi Sikhs can have a separate body, why can’t Haryana?
The SGPC could do nothing when a separate body was created in
Pakistan to manage the religious affairs of Sikhs there.
Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda has clarified that it was not
his party or government that made the proposal. “The Haryana
Assembly passed a private member's bill. The matter has been referred
to a committee. If Sikhs in Haryana want to manage the affairs
of the gurdwaras here, why should the government come in their
"If the Sikhs Haryana want to form separate SGPC on the
pattern of DSGMC in New Delhi, don't you think that they have
democratic right for the same", he quipped?
Dr. Balbir Singh said that the NRI Sikh community in North American
is very upset about the way Shiromani Gurdawara Parbhandak Committee
(SGPC) appoints and fires Jathedar of Akal Takht. The recent unceremonial
exit of Jathedar Vedanti and installation of replacement Giani
Gurbachan Singh, a repetition of past instances in the recent
Sikh history, speaks very poorly of SGPC. Vedanti was brought
in the same fashion after removing Giani Puran Singh who was installed
after removing Bhai Ranjit Singh. The reports said that Punjab
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had told Vedanti to quit else
he shall be expelled. Vedanti has told media that he was forced
to quit and his resignation was obtained by two loyalists of Badal
who came to his residence with no other option but to resign.
An other scholar, Dr. Sampuran Singh said, Sikhs institutions
are divided over the manner in which Jathedar of highest temporal
seat are appointed. However things may not change as political
stakes seem bigger than the faith. NRIs and local leaders urged
Mr Badal not to interfere in the working of Akal Takht and use
its Jathedar for promoting his faction and bringing bad name to
the highest temporal seat of Sikhs.
In Jan, 2007, in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee
(DSGMC) elections, Akali Dal (Sarna) won 27 seats out of a total
of 46 seats. The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), which had the backing
of the Bharatiya Janata Party, won 12 seats while six seats went
to the Shiromani Akali Dal (Panthak) led by Manjeet Singh. One
seat went to an independent candidate.
In closing, Dr. Marwah said that Mr. Sarna is
a leader of high caliber with the disciplined mind and communication