Divorce in the Presence of Guru Granth Sahib
One of the major events in the life of a Sikh is Anand Sanskar according to Sikh Rehat Maryada. In the presence of Guru Granth Sahib the couple vow to love and respect each other and follow the spiritual path together so that they are like one soul in two bodies.
In today’s world what happens if the couple finds itself incompatible? Some believe divorce has no place in Sikh religion while others believe if a mistake has been made there is no harm in rectifying it and take recourse to civil law. However what takes the cake is divorce in presence of Guru Granth Sahib!
A young 24 year old Sikh girl, Simarjit Kaur, of Todarwaal village in district Kapurthala was bestowed a siropa by her father-in-law in the historical Gurdwara Hatt Sahib ( where Guru Nanak Dev ji had worked in modikhana and weighed “ tera, tera’ ) and divorced her from her husband. Interestingly this happened in the absence of her husband who is a jawan of Border Security Force ( BSF) and posted in Jammu and Kashmir. The girl lost her parents a couple of years ago and her Chacha had solemnized her Anand Kaaraj.
Her father-in-law is a granthi and another person supporting him is a kathavachak. Athough this incident has been condemned by Jathedar Akal Takht however no action has been taken against the erring Granthi and kathavachak both of whom are employees of SGPC. I met the Singh Sahiban at Akal Takht accompanied by the girl and her relatives with the basic question is divorce in presence of Guru Granth Sahib acceptable and if not what action has been taken to deter anyone from indulging in such practice in future? Understanding the gravity of the issue they have formed a committee to study the case in detail and report it’s findings for further action.
To build pressure on the girl a Deputy Superintendent of Police, Sultanpur Lodhi Gurmeet Singh is also said to be present in the Gurdwara . As member of Punjab State Women Commission I have asked for an explanation from the police officer……… why is police involved in distorting Sikh maryada?
If this issue is not taken to it’s logical end , it will open a new way for greedy, unscrupulous in-laws to send their daughter in law back to her parent’s home by just giving her a siropa in presence of Guru Granth Sahib. As easy as ‘ talak,talak,talak’ ! In this case too the factor precipitating divorce is a piece of land that Simarjit’s father left behind and eyed by her in laws.