SGPC expresses strong opposition to Uniform Civil Code

Amritsar: The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has registered opposition on behalf of the Sikh community, declaring the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) proposed by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre government as unnecessary in the country.

After a serious discussion about the UCC in the SGPC’s Executive Committee (EC) meeting presided over by SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami, it has been decided that there is no need for UCC in the country, while the Constitution recognizes the principle of unity in diversity.

Speaking to the media after the EC meeting, Dhami said that there is an apprehension among the minorities in the country regarding the Uniform Civil Code that this code will hurt their identity, originality, and principles. On the issue of UCC, the SGPC has constituted a sub-committee of Sikh intellectuals, historians, scholars, and lawyers, which at the preliminary stage considered the UCC as suppression for the existence of minorities, their religious rites, traditions, and culture. This sub-committee includes SGPC general secretary Bhai Gurcharan Singh Grewal, senior Sikh lawyer Puran Singh Hundal, SGPC members Advocate Bhagwant Singh Sialka, Advocate Paramjit Kaur Landran, and Bibi Kiranjot Kaur, Prof Kashmir Singh, Dr Inderjit Singh Gogoani, Dr Paramveer Singh, and Dr Chamkaur Singh. He said that as per the opinion of this sub-committee, the SGPC EC has expressed opposition against the UCC.

Dhami said that any challenge to bani bana (Gurbani and traditional Sikh attire), bol baale (words or thoughts which are sublime or supreme as well as high and true), principles, traditions, values, lifestyle, culture, independent existence and distinct entity of Sikhs can never be accepted and the Sikh Maryada (code of conduct) cannot be tested by the worldly law. Therefore, the Sikh community opposes the UCC. He said that the 21st Law Commission had also rejected the UCC terming it as neither desirable nor feasible.  

About the other decisions at the EC meeting, the SGPC President said that the case against Congress leader Jagdish Tytler, accused of murdering three Sikhs at Pulbangash Gurdwara Sahib in Delhi in 1984, will be pursued by the SGPC. He said that the CBI has filed a chargesheet in the court against Tytler and the fees of the lawyers fighting this case will be paid by the SGPC. He said that after the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) backed down on this matter, now the SGPC has decided to pursue this case.

Dhami said that the EC has also approved setting up a project to digitize the old handwritten holy saroops (scriptures) at Gurdwara Sri Goindwal Sahib. He said that old handwritten holy saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib arriving for the last rites at Goindwal Sahib will be identified and digitized under this project. This decision has been taken from the perspective of preserving the old valuable Sikh heritage.