"Allow women to do Kirtan Seva at Harmandir Sahib"

Sikhism stands for equality. Guru Nanak Dev Ji, spoke up for gender equality...

Parveen Kaur G., a high-school student, from Australia was recently motivated to take action about the Issue of Women not being allowed to do Kirtan and Other Seva at Harmandir Sahib. Read about her online Petition to SGPC below:

Personal info:
My name is Parveen and I am a high-school student in Australia. I love sport especially netball. Since young, I have learnt how play the violin and the waja. I really enjoy travelling and have been to Harmandir Sahib when I was eight and nine and had fond memories of being there. So when I came to know women were not allowed to do certain types of seva such as Kirtan, I was shocked and confused. How is it possible for Harmandir Sahib, an icon for Sikhs, to not follow the basic principles of Sikhi? All our Gurus have always stood up for equality between the sexes. Guru Nanak Dev ji stood up for women with his famous quote from Asa Di Var, Ang 473 (Bhand Jammie Bhand Nimmie). Guru Amar Dev ji - the third guru- stopped the practice of Sati (widows would jump into the fire when their husband would die), disallowed women to cover their faces, and was also was a supporter of marriage being between equal partners.

"Only they are truly wedded who have one spirit in two bodies."
And, out of 146 chosen, Guru Amar Das ji also chose 52 women
missionaries to spread the message of Sikhism.
By the time of Guru Gobind Singh ji,
40% of the Guru's missionaries were women.

Also, recently there was a Gurmat camp where I gave a talk on Mata Bhag Kaur ji , who is an amazing role model for women. Whilst I was researching, I found that she actually served as a body-guard for Guru Gobind Singh ji, the 10th guru in the 16th century, clearly showing us that women are on par with men.

It's embarrassing that they aren't following the Guru's principles. Especially since when I talk to non-Sikhs about Sikhism, I like to emphasise the equality that Sikhism stands for.

One day, we were in the car and my dad suggested that we could start a petition to advocate for women being able to do kirtan at Harmandir Sahib. I was like yea! That's a great idea! But eventually, I forgot about it. But then, last week, I was reading a great and insightful article on Sikhnet by Bani Kaur and that's when I really went " I have to do it". It's not only a violation of a fundamental Sikh principle, but one of oppression against women. So I started a petition. I aim to get 10,000 signatures and then send it of to the SGPC, the committee at Harmandir Sahib. I've emailed a lot of Sikh organisations but not a lot of them have replied. But I'm still hopeful that it could reach 10,000 signatures. After all, we have around 27 million Sikhs in the world (according to the Oxford Sikhs). Movements like this always start small, but they grow when people and organisations get involved -- please take a second now to help out by signing and passing it on.

Posted on January 12, 2018:
Read more about it (below) and sign it here:

Thank you!

To Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (or SGPC): Allow women to do kirtan seva at Harmandir Sahib.
This petition is awaiting approval by the Avaaz Community

HramandirSahib (141K)

Let's reach 10,000
Why this is important

Sikhism stands for equality. The gurus have repeatedly voiced up against the oppression of women throughout the course of history. During the 15th century, the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, spoke up for gender equality by saying

"To woman we married, of woman are we born, of woman conceived,
by woman is the civilisation continued.
It is by woman that the entire social order is maintained.
Then why call her bad? From her Kings are born."

By not allowing women to participate in the activities at Harmandir Sahib, such as Kirtan Seva (singing of hymns), the committee tarnishes the message of the gurus and distorts the basic principles of Sikhism as well as discriminating based on sex - a clear case of misogyny. By signing this petition, you help create awareness of this unjust issue, empowering women and providing them with equal opportunities, whilst pressuring the committee to rectify this sexist act.

Separator (11K)

Petitions Elsewhere and at Other Times

SGPC should be clear why women can't do Kirtan in Harmandir Sahib
Anonymous Student Delhi, India

KirtanInHarmandirSahib (130K)

When Guru Sahib has given equal status to both men and women, why are women not allowed to do kirtan seva? This is clear violation of basics rules of Sikhism and SGPC and Akal Takht should end this practice. Guru Granth Sahib clearly dosent allow any kind of such discrimination, hence Akal Takht being the supreme authority of the Sikhs should end this discrimination.

Separator (11K)

Allow Women to do Kirtan & Sewa at Harmandir Sahib
Govind Singh

Sikh Women aren't allowed to serve our Guru, be it part of the Panj Pyare, the Granthi, The Raagi Jatha. They aren't even allowed to carry the Paalki Sahib during Prakaash or Sukhasan, and all this has been decided by none other than the SGPC. What happened to the Hukam of our Guru, the Hukam of 100% equality Help Sikhs around the whole world to achieve the equality the Sikhi teaches us all about. Today our Mothers, Sisters and daughters are being oppresed by the SGPC. let us unite and destroy their tyranny against Sikh women. we must achieve equality and restore the teachings of Our GURUS. please sign this petition and make a difference today. let us protect the Honour of Khalsa, of Sikhs, of Women and especially of our GURU...

Separator (5K)

Read all about it on fateh.SikhNet: Sikh Women Seva Issue Updates

Separator (5K)

SGPC have maintained that only men can perform Kirtan inside Sri Harmandar Sahib because it’s been the Maryada (Code) for hundreds of years. However, a picture from 1979 shows goray (White Sikhs) performing kirtan alongside women inside Sri Harmandar Sahib. The rare photo belongs to Antion Vikram Singh Meredith whose Jatha was the first white Sikh group to perform kirtan inside Sri Darbar Sahib.

VS (49K)

He stated on social media:

“It is the first time goray (White boys) did kirtan at Harimandir Sahib (the Golden temple, Amritsar). This was in 1979. However we did it again in 1980 and this is the only pic I have of that occasion. On tabla Dr. Shakati Singh and on second vaja Bhai Beant Singh.”

2nd Historical Evidence:

In fact, there has been an instance of a Woman performing Kirtan at Sri Harmandir Sahib, in 1980:

With the protection of Baba Nihal Singh, Krishan Kaur Khalsa was the first woman to perform kirtan, in recent time, within the confines of Sri Harimandir Sahib. Vikram Singh Khalsa was performing kirtan on the Gurupurab for the Prakash Utsav of Guru Ram Das Ji. This kirtan was for a Bhog on the roof of the Harimandir Sahib — not in the main hall. When he finished, he motioned for Krishna Kaur Khalsa to play. As she began some SGPC sevadars moved to stop her but Baba Nihal Singh and some other Nihangs stood in their way and protected her right to perform kirtan within the confines of the Harimandir Sahib. (see picture header)....Source

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