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Gyani Gurbachan Singh is Sikh religious head

August 07, 2008 16:13 IST

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Giani Gurbachan Singh took 36 years to rise from sewadar to jathedar of the Akal Takht (highest Sikh temporal seat) to which he was installed in Amritsar [Images] on Thursday amidst tight security of task force of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in the periphery of Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple [Images]) at Akal Takht.

During the coronation ceremony the newly appointed head priest of the Golden Temple Gyani Jaswinder Singh placed the turban on the head of Gyani Gurbachan Singh as per the age-old religious tradition of the Sikh community and announced the installation of new jathedar of the Akal Takht.

Giani Gurbachan Singh, had joined the SGPC as sewadar on February 29, 1972, at Darbar Sahib, Muktsar.

In 36 years of his service in the SGPC, he became head of the top most Sikh religious seat Akal Takht.

Addressing the gathering, Gyani Gurbachan Singh said he was always ready to serve the Sikh community and conveyed thanks to the Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Dhuma for arranging such a large gathering of Sikh devotees during the coronation ceremony besides extending enormous help for him to become jathedar of the Akal Takht.

SGPC chief Makkar on this occasion said that the installation of new jathedar of the Akal Takht would definitely help the Sikh community to tackle the contentious problem of the Dera Sacha Sauda.

Makkar said presently there was threat to the supremacy of the Akal Takht, drug menace to Sikh youth and other such problems of such kind, which would be dealt with sternly by the jathedar of Akal Takht.

Those prominent personalities present in coronation ceremony who also placed turbans on the head of Gyani Gurbachan Singh were SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar and Head Priest Golden Temple Gyani Jaswinder Singh, former jathedar Akal Takht Gyani Puran Singh, head priest Takht Hazoor Sahib Gyani Partap Singh, Jathedhar Takht Kesgarh Sahab Gyani Tarlochan Singh, Jathedar Takht Damdama Sahib Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Jathedar Takht Patna Sahib Gyani Iqbal Singh.

Shiromani Akali Dal general secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra, chief of Damdami Taksal Baba Harnam Singh Dhuma, chief of breakaway Damdami Taksal Baba Ram Singh from Batala, chief of Akhand Kirtani Jatha Puran Singh Puran and various Nihang organisations were also present.

After the coronation ceremony, Gurbachan Singh went inside the sanctum sanctorum of Golden Temple to pay obeisance amidst the human chain of nearly 50 members of the SGPC task force.

It is noteworthy here that Gyani Gurbachan Singh was appointed acting jathedar of the Akal Takht on August 5 following the resignation of Gyani Joginder Singh Vedanti. On the same day, the final decision in this regard was taken during the executive meeting of SGPC held at Kurukeshtra in Haryana.

Gurbachan Singh was earlier head priest of Harmandar Sahib Amritsar and now Gyani Jaswinder Singh has been appointed his successor.

Gyani Gurbachan Singh was born on April 6, 1948, in Chakk Baja village in Muktsar district of Punjab, the home district of the Punjab chief minister.

He is considered very close to the Badal family as he is a frequent visitor to Badal's family.

The tradition for the appointment of jathedar came in practice during the era of sixth Sikh Guru (master) Hargobind Sahib who laid the foundation of Akal Takht and appointed Bhai Gurdas as first Jatehdar Akal Takht who remained up to the year of 1694.

The SGPC came into existence in 1920, since then Gurbachan Singh is the 24th jathedar. Whereas, if considered since 1694 after Bhai Gurdas, Gurbachan Singh Singh is the 34th jathedar of the Akal Takht.

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