After years of discrimination against women, the Punjab assembly recently passed a progressive resolution urging the Akal Takht and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to allow Sikh women to sing hymns and kirtans in the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
As argued by Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, a state minister, the Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev always fought against gender inequality throughout his life and hence, it is a high time that this discrimination against women should also end.
He also rejected an Akali leader’s claim that according to Sikh ‘rehat maryada’ (religious code of conduct), Sikh women are not allowed to perform ‘Kirtan’ at the ‘Darbar Sahib’.
More than a decade back, in 2005, Akali leader Bibi Jagir Kaur also sought permission for Sikh women to perform Kirtan sewa at the holy Sikh shrine in Amritsar.
Currently, only Sikh men perform ‘Kirtan’ at the golden temple. While sharing that Sikh women were not allowed to perform Kirtan till now, Bajwa mentioned:
“There was no mention in the Sikh history of any discrimination against women”
Bajwa was supported by AAP MLA Kultar Singh Sandhwan, who criticized Akali leaders for raising questions over the progressive resolution brought by the government.
After the earlier objection to the wording of the resolution, the Shiromani Akali Dal, later came out in support.
At IFORHER, we applaud this progressive resolution and hope our society would reconsider other regressive discriminatory restrictions against women.