Toronto: Toronto-based former Akal Takht head priest Darshan Singh Ragi, who was excommunicated by the Sikh high priests in December for questioning the authenticity of the scripture Dasam Granth, says his voice cannot be silenced.
Because of his excommunication over the Dasam Granth, he was not allowed to speak at a Toronto-area gurdwara and his supporters were attacked with kirpans last week.
In Sikhsim, the Dasam Granth is considered the second important scripture after the holy Granth which was declared the eternal guru of the Sikhs by Guru Gobind Singh before his death in 1708.
But according to Ragi and other Sikh scholars, the Dasam Granth - attributed to the last Sikh guru Gobind Singh - is full of derogatory words, references to sexual promiscuity and intoxicants.
Because of these references, they consider this scripture to be fictitious and don`t want it allowed in gurdwaras. However some gurdwaras in Patna, Nanded and Punjab have installed this book alongside the holy Granth.
"When Guru Gobind Singh anointed the holy Granth as the only guru of the Sikhs, how can someone install another scripture next to the holy Granth? The whole controversy ends if the Dasam Granth is removed,`` he said.
Without elaborating, he said, "There is a deeper conspiracy by some forces against the Sikh religion. When it was decided by the Akal Takht that the Dasam Granth should not be installed in gurdwaras, why is it being allowed? There is so much in it that flies in the face of what the Sikh gurus stood for.``
Tracing the roots of the controversy, he said most Sikhs in the past didn`t know what this Granth contained. "Fifty years ago there were few scholars and no modes of communication. But now things have changed and people are reading and exchanging views through communication modes.``
He said, "The disputed scripture suits some Sikh orders, including Nihangs, as it sanctions so many things forbidden by the holy Granth. By installing the disputed scripture, they are happy to have got sanction to practice whatever they like.``
Referring to the kirpan attack on his supporters here last week, the former Akal Takht chief said he was hurt by violence on the issue. "Why don`t those indulging in violence read the scripture and then decide for themselves? They will realize that what is in this book is not what the guru himself stood for.``
About his excommunication on the issue, he said the Akal Takht was being misused by people for their selfish ends.