99th Foundation-from Sunder Singh Majithia to Gobind Singh Longowal SGPC has seen many ups and down
KI Singh/ royalpatiala.in/ Chandigarh
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee popularly known as SGPC is originated with the Gurdwara Reform or Akali movement of the early 1920’s..
On 12 October 1920, the Khalsa, an organization of Sikhs from backward classes, held a divan (religious assembly) in Jallianvala Bagh at which some teachers and students of the Khalsa College were also present. A large number of new entrants were initiated into the Khalsa Brotherhood by administering to them the rites of the Khalsa. As the ceremony concluded, the entire sangat went to the Golden Temple to offer karah prasad and ardas. The clergy at first refused to accept the offerings from the so called untouchables/but later agreed when on a reference being made to the holy book
The sangat then went to the Akal Takhat, honoured as the highest seat of religious authority for the Sikhs, to pay their homage. The priests on seeing the sangat coming fled leaving the holy Takht Sahib unatended. The reformers occupied the Akal Bunga and appointed Teja Singh Bhuchchar as Jathedar of the Akal Takhat, with 25 volunteers to guard and serve it.
The deputy commissioner, on 13 October 1920, summoned the priests, the sarbarah, and some notable citizens for consultation. The priests did not appear at the meeting, and the deputy commissioner appointed a fresh committee under the chairmanship of the sarbarah. The reformers on the other hand summoned, under the authority of the Akal Takhat, a general assembly of the Sikhs to meet in front of the Akal Takht on 15 November 1920 to deliberate the question.
The government held hasty consultations with the Maharaja of Patiala and, on 13 November, nominated a committee of 36 Sikh notables for the management of the Golden Temple and other gurdwaras including the Darbar Sahib at Tarn Taran.
The Sikh assembly, held on 15 and 16 November, elected a committee of 175 members representing all the districts, Sikh states of the Punjab, other Indian provinces, and Sikh organizations in Burma, Malaya, China and North America. It also included the 36 government nominees in the committee which it named the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, SGPC for short.
The inaugural meeting of the SGPC was held at the Akal Takht on 12 December 1920. It appointed a subcommittee to draft the Committee’s constitution. It elected Sardar Sundar Singh Majithia as president, Harbans Singh, of Atari, as vicepresident and Sundar Singh Ramgarhia as secretary.
Two days after the inaugural session of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee on 12 December 1920, the Shiromani Akali Dal, as the political wing of the SGPC, came into existence.
Now SGPC is directly elected by an electorate of the Sikh Nation, male and female above 18 years of age who are registered as voters under the provisions of Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925. This act enables SGPC to control all the Historical Gurdwaras as well as Gurdwaras under Section 87 of this act. The elections to SGPC are held after every five years. SGPC is also called Parliament of the Sikh Nation. Now apart from the management of Gurdwaras, it runs many prestigious educational institutions including Medical colleges, Hospitals and many charitable trusts.
List of Presidents of SGPC with their tenure;
- Sunder Singh Majithia (12-10-1920 to 14-08-1921)
- Baba Kharak Singh (14-08-1921 to 19-02-1922)
- Sunder Singh Ramagarhia (19-02-1922 to 16-07-1922)
- Bhadar Mehtab Singh (16-07-1922 to 27-04-1925)
- Mangal Singh (27-04-1925 to 02-10-1926)
- Kharak Singh (02-10-1926 to 12-10-1930)
- Master Tara Singh (12-10-1930 to 17-06-1933)
- Gopal Singh Quomi (17-06-1933 to 18-06-1933)
- Partal Singh Shankar (18-06-1933 to13-06-1936)
- Master Tara Singh (13-06-1936 to 19-11-1944)
- Jathedar Mohan Singh Nagoke (19-11-1944 to 28-06-1948)
- Jathedar Udham Singh Nagoke (28-06-1948 to 18-03-1950)
- Jathedar Chanan Singh Urar (18-03-1950 to 26-11-1950)
- Jathedar Udham Singh Nagoke (26-11-1950 to 29-06-1952)
- Master Tara Singh (29-06-1952 to 05-10-1952)
- Pritam Singh Khurunj (05-10-1952 to 18-01-1954)
- Ishar Singh Majhail (18-01-1954 to 07-02-1955)
- Master Tara Singh (07-02-1955 to 21-05-1955)
- Bawa Harkrishan Singh (21-05-1955 to 07-07-1955)
- Gian Singh Rarewala (07-07-1955 to 16-10-1955)
- Master Tara Singh (16-10-1955 to 16-11-1958)
- Prem Singh Lalpura (16-11-1958 to 07-03-1960)
- Master Tara Singh (07-03-1960 to 30-04-1960)
- Ajit Singh Bala (30-04-1960 to 10-03-1961)
- Master Tara Singh (10-03-1961 to 11-03-1962)
- Kirpal Singh Chak Sherwala (11-03-1962 to 02-10-1962)
- Sant Chanan Singh (02-10-1962 to 30-11-1972)
- Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra (06-01-1973 to 23-03-1986)
- Kabal singh (23-03-1986 to 30-11-1986)
- Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra (30-11-1986 to 28-11-1990)
- Baldev Singh Sibia (28-11-1990 to 13-11-1991)
- Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra (13-11-1991 to 13-10-1996)
- Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra (20-12-1996 to 16-03-1999)
- Bibi Jagir Kaur Begowal (16-03-1999 to 30-11-2000)
- Jathedar Jagdev Singh Talwandi ( 30-11-2000 to 27-11-2001)
- Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar (27-11-2001 to 20-07-2003)
- Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra (27-07-2003 to 31-03-2004)
- Alwinderpal Singh Pakhoke (01-04-2004 to 22-09-2004)
- Bibi Jagir Kaur Begowal (23-09-2004 to 22-11-2005)
- Jathedar Avtar Singh (23-11-2005 to 04-11-2016)
- Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar (05-11-2016 to 28-11-2017)
- Gobind Singh Longowal (29-11-2017 to till date )