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What HSGPC Means: Control Of 52 Gurdwaras, 1,400-Acre Land, 8 Educational Institutions & Commercial Property

A whopping Rs 200 crore generated by the gurdwaras of Haryana annually.

Image used for Representational Purpose only.
Sikhs (Image used for Representational Purpose only)

Chandigarh: The cudgels for the formation of the separate Haryana Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (HSGPC) were taken to kill two birds with one stone. Most of the Sikhs of Haryana felt that the revenue generated by the gurdwaras in the state went to SGPC headquartered in Amritsar which was indirectly controlled by the Badal family.

The allegations were that same was seldom used for the welfare of the Sikhs of Haryana. Another allegation was that the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) used to help Om Prakash Chautala-led Indian National Lok Dal during the elections which was against the Congress’s interests.

The idea was originally floated by Didar Singh Nalvi, the former ousted chief of HSGPC in the year 2000. This perfectly suited an out-of-power Congress. But when the party came to power, on the recommendations of the then finance minister Harmohinder Singh Chattha’s report, a go-ahead was given for the formation of the separate HSGPC.

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On July 11, 2014, the Haryana Vidhan Sabha passed the Haryana Sikh Gurdwaras (Management) Bill, 2014. Immediately after the Haryana Governor gave consent to the bill on July 14, 2014, to make it into an Act, an SGPC member Harbhajan Singh Masana challenged the move in the Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, after an eight-year-long wait, the Supreme Court upheld the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Act 2014 thus validating the formation of a separate committee to manage the affairs of the gurdwaras of Haryana.

Separate HSGPC mean control of 52 gurdwaras

It means that the 52 gurdwaras of Haryana will be directly controlled by HSGPC. Earlier, only five of them were being managed by the HSGPC. The remaining 47 were managed by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).

Control over commercial properties & 1400 acres of land

Apart from this, the gurdwaras in Haryana own an estimated 1,400 acres of land and also commercial properties worth hundreds of crores. It generates a revenue of close to Rs 200 crore from these properties every year. However, the allegations are that this money is not used for the welfare of the Sikhs of the state. There are close to 12 lakh Sikhs in Haryana, roughly 6.5 per cent of the state’s total population.

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Control over the educational institutions

There are also many educational institutions under the control of SGPC which will now be under the control of HSGPC.

These are Sri Guru Harkishan Sahib Khalsa College, Panjokhra Sahib in Ambala; Mata Sundri Khalsa College for Women, Nising, Karnal; Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Public School, Kaitharkishan; Dashmesh Senior Secondary School, Kapal Mochan, Yamunanagar; Sant Mohan Singh Matwala Public School, Tirlokewala, Sirsa; Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa Public School, Dhamtan Sahib, Jind; Guru Teg Bahadur Polytechnic, Jind; Miri Piri Institute of Medical Sciences, Shahbad Markanda.

According to Baljeet Singh Daduwal, the president of HSGPC, “All these institutions — five schools, two colleges, and a medical college will be managed by HSGPC and it will work towards the welfare of the Sikhs of Haryana. Earlier, the donations generated at these gurdwaras used to go to the SGPC which was indirectly controlled by the Badals.”

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Notably, eight gurdwaras in Haryana are historic namely Nada Sahib gurdwara, Panchkula, Nauvi Pathshahi gurdwara, Kaithal, Kapal Mochan gurdwara, Yamunanagar, Dhamtan Sahib gurdwara, Jind, Chhehvi Pathshahi gurdwara, Kurukshetra, Panjokhra gurdwara, Ambala, Guru Teg Bahadur gurdwara, Jind and Manji Sahib gurdwara, Ambala.