Seeking Equal Opportunity for Sikh Women in Panthic Seva sign now

cc. Dharam Parchar Committee (SGPC)


BENTHI PATHAR

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh

Re: Seeking The Enforcement of
- Equal rights for Women to participate in Seva at Harmandar Sahib,
- Equal opportunity for Women to be appointed as Granthis and Leaders

We the undersigned call for the implementation and daily observance of the resolution passed by Jathedars of four Takhats and Shiromani Parbhandak Committee in 1996 recognizing Sikh womens equal right to perform Seva at Harmandar Sahib. We furthermore call for equal opportunities to women in appointments of Granthis and Panth leaders.

Sikhism has not only preached but also more importantly practiced womens entitlement to equal and same consideration, respect and justice. About 500 years ago, more than half the manjis that Guru Amar Das Ji appointed were to women. These women were put in charge of the proliferation of Sikhism, handle the sangat issues and the administration in their communities. Throughout history, Sikh Women have always stood side-by-side joining in every Panthic Seva. It is very sad to see that whereas 500 years ago we saw Sikh Women in leadership roles, today there seems to be no remnants of this glorious past of ours. We have had a history of Sikh women being head of Sikh congregations (Manjis), and leaders in Sikh Battles and Missles. Our rich history has included such vital events as the Khalsa Raj of Punjab being founded by the statesmanship of Sardarni Sada Kaur, and saved from being dismembered, by the bravery of Bibi Sharanagat Kaur. Let us emulate this remarkable and rousing past of our Brave Daughters of Punjab.

It pains us considerably that there is even an issue of Sikh women not being able to partake in early morning Seva and Keertan Seva at Darbar Sahib. This denial of Seva is completely against the very fabric and core of Sikhism. Imagine turning away Mata Sahib Kaur (the Mother of Khalsa), Mata Gujri Ji (the wife of Guru Tegh Bahadar Ji, the mother of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the grandmother of 4 Sahib Zaadey), Mayee Bhag Kaur (Guru Gobind Singh Jis bodyguard), and the countless Sikh women throughout our history that have planted the seed and inspired love for Sikhism in our children. In Ardaas we daily speak of the Sikh men and women who have given their ultimate sacrifice for the Seva of the Panth. Guru Gobind Singh Ji solidified the concept of equality with the introduction of the ONE Khalsa of Kaurs and Singhs.

In 1996, after great pressure and petitions, a group of American Sikh Women were permitted to join in the early morning Seva at Harmandar Sahib. However, this has only happened once. There has still not been any Sikh woman given the opportunity to partake in Keertan Seva at the Darbar Sahib.

It is urgent and imperative that this denial of Seva to women be immediately rectified in order for the Harmandar Sahib (the throne of Sikhism) and the practice of Sikhism to truly exemplify and put in practice the teachings of our Gurus. We the undersigned, therefore immediately seek the daily observance of Sikh Womens equal right to early morning Seva and Keertan Seva at Darbar Sahib. The criteria used in selecting Ragis should apply to both men and women indiscriminately. In observing the inspirational practices of our Gurus, we also fervently request the proactive encouragement and implementation of Sikh women in partaking in leadership roles and seva such as: Granthis, heads of Panthic committees and Jathe bandis.

As our primary Panthic institution, we also humbly appeal for your leadership role in generally promoting and encouraging the equality principles of Sikhism in tackling the epidemic dangers of Punjab having the lowest female ratio in India and amongst the lowest female literacy and economic activity outside the home. The Sikh Nation is being deprived of almost 50\% talent of its members. With our sincerest benateei and reverence we plead for this matter of Sikh Womens right to Seva at the Darbar Sahib and role as Granthis and Leaders to be dealt forthwith to be able to portray Sikhisms teachings of equality into practice.

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Lynne PollardBy:
Technology and the InternetIn:
Petition target:
Jathedar of Akhal Takhat Sahib

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