Today is the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak and we've got the best news to celebrate the occasion. On Thursday, the Punjab government announced that women are now allowed to sing hymns in the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
Ending years of gender inequality, the Punjab government unanimously passed a resolution urging the Akal Takht and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to allow Sikh women to sing inside the Harmandir Sahib.
The state minister, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa argued that the religion Sikhism founded by Guru Nanak Dev was based on the foundation of equality. He constantly fought hard against caste and gender inequality throughout his life and thus this discrimination against women should end too.
Bajwa also rejected an Akali leader’s claim that according to Sikhism ‘rehat maryada’ or the religious code of conduct should be followed in which Sikh women aren't allowed to perform 'Kirtan' at the Darbar Sahib.
He said, "There was no mention in the Sikh history of any discrimination against women."
Bajwa further added that the fact that women aren't allowed to perform kirtan seva in the Golden Temple goes against the egalitarian principles on which Sikhism is based. It follows democratisation of rights and entitlements for a more equal society.
Bajwa was supported by Aam Admi Party MLA Kultar Singh Sandhwan, who criticised the politicians who raised questions over the resolution introduced by the state government. The Akali leaders who earlier objected to the wordings of the resolution later came out in support of it.