Jathedar of the Akal Takht

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Jathedar of the Akal Takht
ਜੱਥੇਦਾਰ ਅਕਾਲ ਤਖ਼ਤ ਸਾਹਿਬ
Nishan Sahib.svg
ਜੱਥੇਦਾਰ ਜਗਤਾਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਹਵਾਰਾ .jpg
Incumbent

Style
Member ofKhalsa
Reports toSikhs
SeatAkal Takht, Amritsar
AppointerSGPC
Sarbat Khalsa
Term lengthNo term limit; at the Khalsa's pleasure
Formation17th century
First holderBhai Gurdas
as custodian of the Akal Takht

The jathedar of the Akal Takht (Punjabi: ਜੱਥੇਦਾਰ ਅਕਾਲ ਤਖ਼ਤ ਸਾਹਿਬ) is the head of the Akal Takht and head of the Sikhs worldwide.[1] The jathedar has the de facto power as the supreme spokesperson of the Khalsa to summon, trial and sentence any person who identifies as a Sikh from the Akal Takht.[2]

The current jathedar is Jagtar Singh Hawara, who was declared by the Sarbat Khalsa on 10 November 2015. Due to the political imprisonment of Hawara, Dhian Singh Mand appointed by the Sarbat Khalsa and Harpreet Singh appointed by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) have been serving as the acting jathedars.[3]

The Akal Takht is the building directly opposite the Darbar Sahib founded by the sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind, as a symbol of political sovereignty and where spiritual and temporal concerns of the Sikh people can be addressed.[4] Along with Baba Buddha and Bhai Gurdas, the sixth Guru built a concrete slab. When Guru Hargobind revealed the platform on 15 June 1606, he put on two swords: one indicated his spiritual authority (piri) and the other, his temporal authority (miri).[5]

History and development[edit]

In 1606, after the execution of the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan, his son and successor Guru Hargobind bearing the two swords of politics (miri) and spirituality (piri), declared himself sovereign, and defied the royal edict of the Mugal empire.[6] Recognising the necessity of coordinating efforts against the Mughal empire, the Guru simultaneously began the process of militarising the Sikhs. The first hukamnama issued from the Akal Takht commanded the Sikhs to offer arms and horses.[7] Before leaving Amritsar for imprisonment, Guru Hargobind assigned the original scribe of Guru Granth Sahib, Bhai Gurdas as the custodian of Akal Takht, and instructed him to act jointly with Baba Buddha as the representative of the Sikhs.[8]

Following the establishment of the Khalsa, which took effect on 13 April 1699, the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh sent Bhai Mani Singh and five other Sikhs to Amritsar with instructions to take possession of the Darbar Sahib complex. The Sikhs assigned Bhai Mani Singh as the head granthi of Harmandir Sahib and the head of the Akal Takht. After the passing of Guru Gobind Singh, the Sikh divisions accepted the common leadership and sovereignty of the head of the Akal Takht.[9]

Qualifications and selection[edit]

Jathedar Harpreet Singh surrounded by Sikh children at Takanini Gurdwara in New Zealand.

Chapter IV, Article V of the Sikh Rehat Maryada only permits an initiated Sikh to enter the hallowed enclosures of a takht; therefore, only a Khalsa Sikh of high regard can become a jathedar.[10] Prior to 1921, jathedars were appointed by the Sarbat Khalsa, a biannual deliberative assembly of the Sikhs held at Amritsar.[11] Since 1921, the jathedar of takhts have generally been appointed by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.

A Sarbat Khalsa convened by Sikh organisations in 2015 declared Jagtar Singh Hawara as the jathedar and Dhian Singh Mand as an acting jathedar. The SGPC president at that time, Avtar Singh Makkar, however condemned the convening as against the principles of Sikhism and it's decisions null and void.[12]

Role and authority[edit]

Chapter XIII, Article XXVII of the Sikh Rehat Maryada allows for an appeal against a local decision concerning the Sikhs to be made to the Akal Takht.[10] The jathedar of the Akal Takht has the de facto power to summoned Sikhs including those who hold a position of authority to be trialed. Edicts which may order a penalty or excommunication are announced by the jathedar from the Akal Takht.[13]

List[edit]

Colour key

  Sarbat Khalsa   SGPC

No. Name
(Birth–Death)
Portrait Assigned by Term Ref
Custodians of the Akal Takht
1 Bhai Gurdas
(1551–1636)
Bhai Gurdas.jpg Guru Hargobind 1618 1636
2 Mani Singh
(1644–1737)
Photo of ji.jpg Guru Gobind Singh 1699 24 June
1734
[14]
Jathedars of the Akal Takht
3 Darbara Singh
(1644–1734)
Darbara Singh.jpg Sarbat Khalsa 1722 1734 [15]
4 Kapur Singh Virk
(1697–1753)
Nawab Kapur Singh.png Sarbat Khalsa 1737 1753 [16]
5 Jassa Singh Ahluwalia
(1718–1783)
PicKingRaja.jpg Sarbat Khalsa 1753 1783 [17]
6 Phula Singh
(1761–1823)
Sardar Phula Singh.jpg Sarbat Khalsa 1800 1823 [15]
7 Hanuman Singh
(1755–1846)
Akali Hanuman Singh.jpg Sarbat Khalsa 1823 1846 [15]
8 Prahlad Singh
(d. 1865)
Prahlad Singh.jpg Sarbat Khalsa 1846 Unknown [18]
Sarbarah of the Akal Takht
9 Arur Singh Naushera
(1865-1926)
Arur Singh.jpg British East India 1907 August
1920
[19]
Jathedars of the Akal Takht
10 Teja Singh Bhuchar
? Sarbat Khalsa 12 October
1920
1921
11
1 of 2
Teja Singh Akarpuri
(1892-1975)
Jathedar Teja Singh Akarpuri.jpg SGPC 29 April
1921
13 October
1923
[20]
12
1 of 2
Udham Singh Nagoke
(1894-1966)
Udham Singh Nagoke.jpg SGPC 1923 1924 [21]
13
1 of 2
Acchar Singh
(1893-1976)
Jathedar Achhar Singh.jpg SGPC 09 February
1924
10 January
1926
[22]

2 of 2
Udham Singh Nagoke
(1894-1966)
Udham Singh Nagoke.jpg SGPC 10 January
1926
short period [22]

2 of 2
Teja Singh Akarpuri
(1892-1975)
Jathedar Teja Singh Akarpuri.jpg SGPC 27 November
1926
21 January
1930
[20]
14 Didar Singh
? SGPC 1925 short period [21]
15 Jawaher Singh Mattu Bhaike
? SGPC 1926 short period [21]
16 Gurmukh Singh Musafir
(1899-1976)
Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir.png SGPC 1931 1934 [21]
17 Wasakha Singh Dadehar
(1877-1957)
Visakha Singh.jpg SGPC October
1934
December
1934
18 Mohan Singh Nagoke
(1898-1969)
Mohan Singh Nagoke.jpg SGPC 1935 1952
19
1 of 2
Partap Singh
(1904-1984)
(Acting)
Jathedar Partap Singh.jpg SGPC 1938 1948 [23]

2 of 2
Partap Singh
(1904-1984)
Jathedar Partap Singh.jpg SGPC 1952 1954 [23]

2 of 2
Acchar Singh
(1893-1976)
Jathedar Achhar Singh.jpg SGPC 23 May
1955
08 November
1962
[22]
20 Mohan Singh Tur
(1916-1979)
Mohan Singh Tur Official portrait 1977.gif SGPC [24]
21 Sadhu Singh Bhaura
(1905-1984)
? SGPC 1964 1980
22
1 of 2
Kirpal Singh
(1918-1993)
(Acting)
Akal Takht Jathedar Kirpal Singh.jpg SGPC 1963 1965 [25]
23 Gurdial Singh Ajnoha
(1927-1982)
? SGPC 2 March
1980
1983

2 of 2
Kirpal Singh
(1918-1993)
Akal Takht Jathedar Kirpal Singh.jpg SGPC 1983 26 July
1986
[25]
24 Jasbir Singh Rode
? Sarbat Khalsa 26 January
1986
1989 [26]
25 Gurdev Singh Kaunke
(1949-1993)
(Acting)
Bhai sahib.jpg Sarbat Khalsa 26 January
1986
1993
26 Gurbachan Singh Manochahal
(1954-1993)
(Acting)
? Sarbat Khalsa 27 April
1986
26 January
1987
[27]
27
1 of 2
Darshan Singh
(born 1940)
(Acting)
? SGPC 31 December
1986
9 March
1988
[28]

2 of 2
Darshan Singh
(born 1940)
? SGPC 1989 1990
28 Manjit Singh
? SGPC 1994 1997
29 Ranjit Singh
? SGPC 1997 1999
30 Puran Singh
? SGPC 1999 2000
31 Joginder Singh Vadanti
? SGPC 2000 2008
32 Gurbachan Singh
(born 1948)
? SGPC 06 August
2008
18 October
2018
[29]
33 Jagtar Singh Hawara ਜੱਥੇਦਾਰ ਜਗਤਾਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਹਵਾਰਾ .jpg Sarbat Khalsa 10 November
2015
Incumbent [30]
33 Dhian Singh Mand
(Acting)
? Sarbat Khalsa 10 November
2015
Incumbent [31]
34 Harpreet Singh
(Acting)
Jathedar Harpreet Singh on 14 November 2022.jpg SGPC 22 October
2018
Incumbent [32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Randhir, G. S. (February 1990). Sikh Shrines in India. New Delhi: Publications Division Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. ISBN 978-81-230-2260-4. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  2. ^ Brar, Kamaldeep Singh (6 October 2017). "Akal Takht excommunicates Sucha Singh Langah without a hearing". The Indian Express. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  3. ^ Paul, GS (8 November 2018). "Takht Jathedar's address marred by sloganeering". The Tribune. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  4. ^ Fahlbusch E. (ed.) "The encyclopedia of Christianity." Archived 7 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8028-2417-2
  5. ^ Singh, Dr Kuldip. Akal Takht Ate Khalsa Panth. Chandigarh. p. 2. Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  6. ^ Dilgeer, Harjinder Singh (1980). The Akal Takht. Jalandhar: Sikh University Press.
  7. ^ Singh, Surinderpal. "Celebrating the foundation day of Akal Takht Sahib (Akal Bunga)". Sikhri. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  8. ^ Singh, Jarnail (1986). Sikh Symposium 1985. Sikh Social and Educational Society. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-8364-1840-8. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  9. ^ Chauhan, G.S. (2005). The Gospel Of The Sikh Gurus. New Delhi: Hemkunt Publishers. p. xiv. ISBN 81-7010-353-3.
  10. ^ a b The Code of Conduct and Conventions. Amritsar: Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  11. ^ Romana, Karamjit Kaur (2018). Role of Akal Takht in Sikh history (PDF). Talwandi Sabo: Guru Kashi University Talwandi Sabo. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  12. ^ At Sarbat Khalsa, hardliners appoint Hawara Akal Takht Jathedar
  13. ^ Die, Marguerite Van (1 January 2001). Religion and Public Life in Canada: Historical and Comparative Perspectives. University of Toronto Press. p. 357. ISBN 978-0-8020-8245-9.
  14. ^ Singh, Sukhdayal (1991). Siri Akal Takhat Sahib Sarbat Khalsa Ate Gurmatta. Punjab University, Patiala. p. 3. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  15. ^ a b c "Jathedars (7th till 1st)". Shiromani Panth Akali Budha Dal (Panjwan Takhat). Archived from the original on 8 May 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  16. ^ Nabha, Kahan Singh (13 April 1930). Gur Shabad Ratanakar Mahankosh (1 ed.). Languages Department of Punjab, Patiala. p. ਕਪੂਰ ਸਿੰਘ. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  17. ^ Nabha, Kahan Singh (13 April 1930). Gur Shabad Ratanakar Mahankosh (1 ed.). Languages Department of Punjab, Patiala. p. ਜੱਸਾ ਸਿੰਘ. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  18. ^ "Jathedars (14th till 8th)". Shiromani Panth Akali Budha Dal (Panjwan Takhat). Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  19. ^ Mittal, Satish Chandra (1997). Freedom Movement in Punjab (1905-29) (1 ed.). Delhi: Concept Publishing Company. p. 149.
  20. ^ a b Mikhayhu, Alain (2011). Teja Singh Akarpuri. Tempor. ISBN 9786138779568.
  21. ^ a b c d Singh, Balkar (April 1995). Akal Takht Sahib Jot Te Jugat. Chandigarh: Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. p. Appendices.
  22. ^ a b c Bharti, Mahinder Singh (3 August 1997). Sankep Jeevani Singh Sahib Jathedar Aachar Singh Ji. Bhai Chatar Singh Jiwan Singh. p. 6.
  23. ^ a b Nirankari, Dr Maan Singh (1900s). Giani Partap Singh Ji. Darbar Printing Press. p. 17.
  24. ^ Anttal, Gurpreet Singh. "ਬਰਸੀ 'ਤੇ ਵਿਸ਼ੇਸ਼-ਜਥੇਦਾਰ ਮੋਹਨ ਸਿੰਘ ਤੁੜ". Ajit Jalandhar. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  25. ^ a b "Kirpal Singh, Singh Sahib Giani". The Sikh Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 25 October 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  26. ^ Fenech, Louis; Singh, Pashaura (24 March 2014). The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies. London: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780191004124.
  27. ^ Walia, Varinder. "'Misdeeds' of stalwarts during militancy Amritsar ex-DC reveals it all". The Tribune. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  28. ^ Chima, Jusdep Singh (2010). The Sikh Separatist Insurgency in India. New Delhi: SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd. p. 141. ISBN 9788132103028.
  29. ^ Why a road-safety rule has upset some Sikhs
  30. ^ Deep, Ajay. "Jagtar Singh Hawara is the new Akal Takht Jathedar via Sarbat Khalsa". Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  31. ^ "Parallel Jathedar Mand's bid to give sandesh at Golden Temple foiled". 2017-10-20.
  32. ^ "Giani Harpreet Singh is acting jathedar of Akal Takht". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 October 2018.