Jathedar of Akal Takht

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Jathedar of Akal Takht
ਜੱਥੇਦਾਰ ਅਕਾਲ ਤਖ਼ਤ
Nishan Sahib.svg
Incumbent
Dhian Singh Mand (Sarbat Khalsa)
since 10 November 2015
Harpreet Singh (SGPC)
since 22 October 2018
Acting
StyleBhai Sahib (informal)
Honorable Jathedar (formal)
Singh Sahib (formal)
StatusHead of Akal Takht
Representative of Sikhs
Member ofKhalsa
Reports toSikhs
SeatAkal Takht
NominatorSikh institutions
AppointerSarbat Khalsa
SGPC
Term lengthIndefinitely
The holder is required to have the consensus of Sikh institutions.
Formation1618
(402 years ago)
 (1618)
First holderBhai Gurdas
as custodian of Akal Takht

The jathedar of Akal Takht (Punjabi: ਜੱਥੇਦਾਰ ਅਕਾਲ ਤਖ਼ਤ) is the head of Akal Takht, and the international representative of the Sikhs.

Originally known as Akal Bunga,[1] the building directly opposite Darbar Sahib was built by Guru Hargobind as a place of justice and consideration of temporal issues; the highest seat of earthly authority of the Khalsa and the podium of the jathedar of Akal Takht, the most senior spokesperson of the Sikhs.

In the absence of Jagtar Singh Hawara, Dhian Singh Mand and Harpreet Singh are the interim acting jathedars of Akal Takht.

Origin[edit]

In 1606, after the execution of Guru Arjan, Guru Hargobind, bearing the two swords of politics (miri) and spirituality (piri), declared himself sovereign, and defied the royal edict of the Mugal empire.[2] 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 Akal Takht commanded the Sikhs to offer arms and horses.[3] 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.

Following the establishment of the Khalsa, which took effect on 13 April 1699, Guru Gobind Singh sent Mani Singh and five other Khalsas to Amritsar with instructions to take possession of the Darbar Sahib complex. The Khalsas assigned Mani Singh as the head granthi of Darbar Sahib and the jathedar of Akal Takht. After the passing of Guru Gobind Singh, the Sikh divisions accepted the common leadership and sovereignty of Akal Takht.[4]

Selection process[edit]

During the 18th and 19th centuries, jathedars of Akal Takht were appointed by the Sarbat Khalsa, a biannual deliberative assembly of the Sikhs held at Amritsar.[5] From 1921, jathedars have been appointed by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), an elected body of the Sikhs.[6]

A Sarbat Khalsa convened by Sikh organisations in 2015 appointed Jagtar Singh Hawara as the jathedar of Akal Takht. At the time, former SGPC president, Avtar Singh Makkar, condemned the convening as against the principles of Sikhism and it's decisions null and void. He added that the removal of jathedars came under the Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1925 and no one could challenge the SGPC's authority.[7]

List[edit]

Colour key

  Sarbat Khalsa   SGPC

No. Name
(Birth–Death)
Portrait Assigned by Term of office
Custodians of Akal Takht
1 Bhai Gurdas
(1551–1636)
Guru Hargobind 1618 1636
2 Mani Singh
(1644–1737)
Execution of Bhai Mani Singh.jpg Guru Gobind Singh 1721 24 June
1734
Jathedars of Akal Takht
3 Darbara Singh
(1644–1734)
Darbara Singh.jpg Sarbat Khalsa 1722 1734
4 Kapur Singh Virk
(1697–1753)
Nawab Kapur Singh.png Sarbat Khalsa 1737 1753


5 Jassa Singh Ahluwalia
(1718–1783)
PicKingRaja.jpg Sarbat Khalsa 1753 1783


6 Phula Singh
(1761–1823)
Sardar Phula Singh.jpg Sarbat Khalsa 1800 1823
7 Hanuman Singh
(1755–1846)
Akali Hanuman Singh.jpg Sarbat Khalsa 1823 1846
8 Prahlad Singh
Prahlad Singh.jpg Sarbat Khalsa 1846 Unknown
Sarbrah of Akal Takht
9 Arur Singh Naushera
1865-1926
Arur Singh.jpg British East India Company 1907 August
1920
Jathedars of Akal Takht
10 Teja Singh Bhuchar
Sarbat Khalsa 12 October
1920
1921
(11) Teja Singh Akarpuri
1892-1975
Jathedar Teja Singh Akarpuri.jpg SGPC 29 April
1921
13 October
1923
(12) Udham Singh Nagoke
(1894-1966)
Udham Singh Nagoke.jpg SGPC 1923 1924
(13) Acchar Singh
(1893-1976)
Jathedar Achhar Singh.jpg SGPC 09 February
1924
10 January
1926
(12) Udham Singh Nagoke
(1894-1966)
Udham Singh Nagoke.jpg SGPC 10 January
1926
short period
(11) Teja Singh Akarpuri
1892-1975
Jathedar Teja Singh Akarpuri.jpg SGPC 27 November
1926
21 January
1930
14 Didar Singh
SGPC 1925 short period
15 Jawaher Singh Mattu Bhaike
SGPC 1926 short period
16 Gurmukh Singh Musafir
SGPC 1931 1934
17 Wasakha Singh Dadehar
(1877-1957)
Visakha Singh.jpg SGPC October
1934
December
1934
18 Mohan Singh Nagoke
(1896-1969)
SGPC 1935 1952
19 Partap Singh
(1904-1984)
Jathedar Partap Singh.jpg SGPC 1952 1954
(13) Acchar Singh
(1893-1976)
Jathedar Achhar Singh.jpg SGPC 23 May
1955
08 November
1962
20 Mohan Singh Tur
(1915-1979)
SGPC 1962 1964
21 Sadhu Singh Bhaura
(1905-1984)
SGPC 1964 1980
22 Gurdial Singh Ajnoha
(1927-1982)
SGPC 2 March
1980
1983
23 Kirpal Singh
(1918-1993)
SGPC 1983 26 July
1986
24 Jasbir Singh Rode
Sarbat Khalsa[citation needed] 9 March
1988
1989
25 Darshan Singh
(born 1940)
SGPC 1989 1990
26 Manjit Singh
SGPC 1994 1997
27 Ranjit Singh
SGPC 1997 1999
28 Puran Singh
SGPC 1999 2000
29 Joginder Singh Vadanti
SGPC 2000 2008
30 Gurbachan Singh
(born 1948)
SGPC 06 August
2008
18 October
2018
31 Jagtar Singh Hawara
(born 1973)
Sarbat Khalsa 10 November
2015
Incumbent
Acting Jathedars of Akal Takht
1 Partap Singh
(1904-1984)
Jathedar Partap Singh.jpg SGPC 1938 1948
2 Kirpal Singh
(1918-1993)
SGPC 1963 1965
3 Gurdev Singh Kaunke
(1949-1993)
Sarbat Khalsa 26 January
1986
1993
4 Gurbachan Singh Manochahal
(1954-1993)
Sarbat Khalsa 27 April
1986
26 January
1987
5 Darshan Singh
(born 1940)
SGPC 31 December
1986
9 March
1988
6 Dhian Singh Mand
Sarbat Khalsa 10 November
2015
Incumbent
7 Harpreet Singh
SGPC 22 October
2018
Incumbent

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Akal Bunga". The Sikh Encyclopedia. Gateway to Sikhism Foundation. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  2. ^ Dilgeer, Harjinder Singh (1980). The Akal Takht. Jalandhar: Sikh University Press.
  3. ^ Singh, Surinderpal. "Celebrating the foundation day of Akal Takht Sahib (Akal Bunga)". Sikhri. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  4. ^ Chauhan, G.S. (2005). The Gospel Of The Sikh Gurus. New Delhi: Hemkunt Publishers. p. xiv. ISBN 81-7010-353-3.
  5. ^ Singha, H.S. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Sikhism. New Delhi: Hemkunt Publishers. p. 14. ISBN 81-7010-301-0.
  6. ^ "About SGPC". Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  7. ^ At Sarbat Khalsa, hardliners appoint Hawara Akal Takht Jathedar