TAKHT DAMDAMA SAHIB
Delhi Assembly passed an amendment Bill to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1971, recognising Takht Damdama Sahib as the fifth Takht of Sikhs.
WHAT IS A SIKH TAKHT
- A Takht, which means a throne
- Seat of temporal authority for Sikhs
- There are five Sikh Takhts, three in Punjab and one each in Maharashtra and Bihar.
- Akal Takht:
- Located in Amritsar
- Oldest of the Takhts
- Considered supreme among the five
- Set up in 1606 by Guru Hargobind
- Is a raised platform that he built in front of the causeway leading to the sanctum sanctorum of the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple)
- Symbolised the coming together of the temporal authority and the political sovereignty of the Sikh community (miri) with the spiritual authority (piri).
- Seen as the first marker of Sikh nationalism.
- Is a five-storey building today; the first storey houses the Guru Granth Sahib.
- The other four Takhts are linked to Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru.
- Takht Keshgarh Sahib: Located in Anandpur Sahib in Punjab. It was here that Guru Gobind Singh raised Khalsa, the initiated Sikh warriors, in 1699.
- Takht Patna Sahib: Guru Gobind Singh was born here in 1666.
- Takht Hazur Sahib: In Nanded, where Guru Gobind Singh spent time and where he was cremated in 1708.
- Takht Damdama Sahib: In Talwandi Sabo of Bathinda. Guru Gobind Singh spent several months here.
WHAT DOES THE AMENDMENT TO THE DELHI SIKH GURDWARA ACT MEAN?
- Adds one more ex officio member in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managament Committee (DSGMC) house.
- Earlier, there were four ex officio members in the house — the chiefs (jathedars) of the other four Sikh Takhts.
- Prior to this, the DSGMC house was of 55 member: 46 elected, two co-opted, two chosen through lottery from among the gurdwara Singh Sabhas, one nominated by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), and four jathedars of Sikh Takhts.
- If the Delhi Lieutenant Governor gives his approval to the amendment Bill and it becomes a law, it will make the chief of the Takht Damdama Sahib, too, an ex officio member in the DSGMC house, taking its strength to 56.
- Ex officio members have no voting rights in the house.
IS IT THE FIRST TIME IT HAS BEEN RECOGNISED AS THE FIFTH TAKHT?
- It was back in 1999 that Takht Damdama Sahib was recognised as the fifth Sikh Takht by the Union Home Ministry, which included it as such in the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925 (Punjab Act VIII of 1925) with a notification dated April 23, 1999.
- Before that, an SGPC sub-committee had declared it the fifth Takht of Sikhs back in November 1966 after Punjab was carved out as a separate state through the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966.