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Sikh Gurdwaras in the West : Hubs for Dirty Politics and Turf Wars

April 25, 2011
Source: Khalsa Press

Violent Clash at Baba Makhan Shah Lubana Gurdwara, NY

NEW YORK (KP) - For centuries, Gurdwara Sahibs (literally - Gateway to the Guru) have been sanctuaries of divine peace and tranquility, and an abode of purity, humility and selflessness for Sikhs.

Yet the embarrassing events occurring at Gurdwara Sahib in western countries are evidence that these Sikh institutions are no longer ‘Gateways to our Guru’, but focal points and hubs for political and financial turf wars between non-religious Panjabi migrants.

The recent events in New York highlight just how politically charged these places of worship have become, and have become a major cause of embarrassment for the otherwise law abiding Sikh community.

NEW YORK INCIDENT

Take for example the recent incident in the US, dozens of hooligans entered a New York Gurdwara and disrupted the kirtan diwan in the Baba Makhan Shah Lubana Gurdwara Sahib. A near riot occured, and many individuals were injured during the violent clash inside this Gurdwara located in New York's Queens area.

According to eye witnesses, a group of protestors stormed in the darbar hall and attacked their rivals with swords, mike stands and cricket bats.

Witnesses say that the attackers, armed with swords, were part of the old committee that was recently voted out of power. Is this the kind image Sikh want to send to the rest of the world?




MANAGEMENT COMMITTEES - POWER : ROOT OF THE PROBLEM


As long as Gurdwara Sahibs are controlled by ruffians, thugs and politicians, such problems will continue to persist. There is no doubt that most Gurdwara Sahib in the west are now becoming commercialized political and financial extensions for regional Sikh politicians and businessmen, and no longer serve as true beacons of Sikhi.

The Sikh community needs to overhaul the management of its Gurdwara Sahibs so they are no longer an attraction for those seeking political attention and power. Gurdwara Sahibs should be managed by the sangat at large and not by a select groups of individuals seeking attention and political recognition.


3 Comments

  1. karsh Malaysia April 27, 2011, 1:04 am

    Anyone who visited this NY gurdwara on any sunday in past year could see this coming.

    I ask anyone who actually attended this temple: How can you "pray" in this gurdwara with the "racket" of kids running amuck, women talking etc.

    This happens EVERY sunday. It's a joke. It's an embarrassment. And to think, the holy [Granth] is in the same room....what a culture? this only happens in the west.

    You go to asian country gurdwara and there is humility and prayer but NOT in N. America where the congregation think their kids are little Lions of Punjab.

    Reply to this comment
  2. singh UK April 27, 2011, 4:04 pm

    I am absolutely shocked after reading this article. The gurdwara is a place of religion and you should respect it as it is guru ji's house and we come to ask for blessings. The only thing that has taken over their minds is power and It's wrong.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Dr Charanjit Singh Gumtala Dayton (Ohio) USA May 5, 2011, 9:05 am

    Shame for the management. Sikhs should come out of dirty politic of the Gurdwara and work for theier identity and spreading the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji

    Reply to this comment
 

Disclaimer: Panthic.org does not necessarily endorse the views and opinions voiced in the feedback from our readers, and cannot be held responsible for their views.

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