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The Multifarious Faces of Sikhism throughout Sikh History
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Baba Kartar Singh Samparda/Chowk Mehta Samparda cont'd

Another fascinating rule that exists within this institution is that prevent/suppress sexual thoughts and feelings of uncontrolled lust, 2 men are not allowed to share a beadstead or blanket. This rule was introduced by Baba Thakur Singh and seems to have given credence to strong rumours of serious paedophilia and homosexuality problems within the Chowk Mehta Samparda. Why else should such a rule be introduced if not to prevent incidents that have taken place?

It has to be noted that the indicents of paedophilia is not uncommon in Punjab and amongst Sikh instutitions, including Nihang Singhs. In 1998, Nihang Niddar Singh himself came across one murder case involving a paedophile amongst the Nihangs of Bhai Bidhi Chand Dal. Akali Nihangs even have a traditional ‘Sakhi’ (historical anecdote) that explaims how homosexuality crept into Sikhism.

Baba Thakur Singh

The late 'acting Jathedar' of the Baba Kartar Singh Samparda

With his death, Baba Thakur Singh has been labelled as the '14th Jathedar of the Dam Dami Taksal'. Late 2004 saw the 'Baba Kartar Singh Samparda' experience yet another split. One faction lead by Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma, a US citizen, and the other by Baba Ram Singh, the nephew of Baba Kartar Singh. Harnam Singh had fled Punjab during the early 1990s when Sikh militancy in Punjab was at its peak, but appears to have returned to claim his seat as Jathedar of the 'Dam Dami Taksal'. Earlier in 2003, Bhai Ram Singh had been appointed as the '15th Jathedar of Dam Dami Taksal' (see http://www.tribuneindia.com/2003/20030619/main10.htm).

According to various new reports (see here), the split has occurred due to many reasons, but the main point of dispute is regarding the stance of whether or not Jarnail Singh Bhindrawaley was killed during operation Bluestar in 1984. Ram Singh, like the S.G.P.C. and members of Jarnail Singh's family, believes that Jarnail Singh was indeed killed in 1984. However, Harnam Singh wishes to continue to propagate the myth that Jarnail Singh will return and lead the Sikh faith to glory.

Baba Ram Singh

One of two candidates fighting to be recognised as the next
'Jathedar' of the Baba Kartar Singh Samparda during his 'Dastar Bandi' ceremony

Another factor that appears to influence decisions within the 'Baba Kartar Singh Samparda' is the rivalry between the 'Majha' and 'Malwa' region of Punjab (see http://www.onlypunjab.com/latest/fullstory-newsID-4899.html). This age-old rivalry also influenced the battle between Baba Mohan Singh (from Malwa) and Baba Kartar Singh (from Majha).

Events of early 2005 have seen 'Dastar Bandi' (inauguration ceremonies) of both Baba Ram Singh and Baba Harnam Singh amongst their groups, both claiming to be the rightful 'Jathedar' of 'Dam Dami Taksal'. It appears that Baba Ram Singh has the support of the S.G.P.C., while those opposed to the S.G.P.C. have sided with Baba Harnam Singh.

Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma
Baba Harnam Singh (second left) at his 'Dastar Bandi' ceremony, flanked
by Ranjit Singh (left), the once head of the Akal Takht and various other prominant Sikh heads

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