Gurdwaras in Canada ban entry of Indian officials: Some gurudwaras disassociating

Gurudwara Sri Guru Nanak Sikh Centre and Gurudwara Brampton Sikh Sangat have issued Press Release disassociating themselves from the ban of Indian officials.

Toronto [Canada], Jan.23: Protests in many Canada-based gurudwaras are taking place against the announcement by Gurpreet Singh Bal, President of the Dixie Road Gurudwara Management Committee, banning the entry of Indian officials. The Dixie Road Gurudwara is located in the Greater Toronto area.

The latest such voice of dissent to be raised is by the Managing Committee of the Gurudwara Sri Guru Nanak Sikh Centre, Gidden Road, Brampton and Gurudwara Brampton Sikh Sangat, Regan Road, Brampton.

Both the Gurudwaras have issued Press Release disassociating themselves from the ban of Indian officials.

A press release has expressed surprise at the dictate of Gurpreet Singh Bal and has clearly stated that no one has ever been given the authority to represent this matter in both gurudwaras, and as such, it was patently wrong on the part of Bal to include the names of these two gurudwaras in the list published by him.

It further stated that no one had ever sought an opinion of either of these gurudwaras on this issue, and emphasized that according to Sikh doctrine, no one can be stopped from paying a visit to gurudwaras, listening to the Gurubani, taking of Guru ka Langar or doing service in gurudwaras.

Earlier this month, in an unusual move, fourteen gurdwara management committees in Ontario province of Canada have imposed a ban on the entry of Indian government representatives to gurdwaras under their control, using a local law against trespassing.

The decision was taken at a meeting at Jot Parkash Gurdwara in Brampton on December 30. However, there will be no ban on any Indian official paying a personal visit to any gurdwara run by these committees.

In recent years, the Indian High Commission in Canada has been making attempts to improve ties with the Sikh diaspora there, which had been affected since Operation Blue Star in 1984. The latest development has come as a setback to these efforts. Series of meetings were held by these committees since December 9 before taking the final call.

Recently, a video went viral in which some Sikh youths apparently blocked the entry of Indian government representatives in an Australian gurdwara.