Giani Gurbachan Singh
Giani Gurbachan Singh took 36 years to rise from "sewadar" to Jathehdar of Akal Takht (highest Sikh temporal seat) to which he was installed here today amidst tight security of task force of SGPC in the periphery of Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple) at Akal Takht. He has now been excommunicated for failing to make amends to a decision to forgive Ram Rahim and for deeply disrespecting the Panj Pyare by not showing up for a summoning (Peshi). He has officially been removed as Jathedar of Akal Takht, the position now held by Singh Sahib Jathedar Jagtar Singh Hawara.
During the coronation ceremony newly appointed Head Priest Golden Temple Gyani Jaswinder Singh kept turban on the head of Gyani Gurbachan Singh as per age old religious tradition of Sikh community and announced the installation of new Jatehdar of Akal Takht.
Giani Gurbachan Singh, had joined the SGPC as "sewadar" on February 29, 1972, at Darbar Sahib, Muktsar. In 36 years of his Service in the SGPC he became head of the top most Sikh religious seat Akal Takht.
Addressing the gathering Gyani Gurbachan Singh said that he was always ready to serve the Sikh community and conveyed thanks to the Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Dhuma for arranging such a large gathering of Sikh devotees during the coronation ceremony besides extending enormous help for him to become Jatehdar of Akal Takht.
SGPC chief Makkar on this occasion said that the installation of new Jatehdar of Akal Takht would definitely help the Sikh community to tackle the contentious problem of Dera Sacha Sauda.
Makkar said that presently there was threat to the supremacy of Akal Takht, drug menace to Sikh youth and other such kind of problems would sternly be dealt by the Jatehdar of Akal Takht.
Those prominent personalities present in Coronation ceremony also placed turbans on the head of Gyani Gurbachan Singh were SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar and Head Priest Golden Temple Gyani Jaswinder Singh, former Jatehdar Akal Takht Gyani Puran Singh, Head priest Takht Hazoor Sahib Gyani Partap Singh, Jatedhar Takht Kesgarh Sahab Gyani Tarlochan Singh, Jatehdar Takht Damdama Sahib Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Jatehdar Takht Patna Sahib Gyani Iqbal Singh.
SAD general secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra, chief of Damdami Taksal Baba Harnam Singh Dhuma, chief of breakaway Damdami Taksal Baba Ram Singh from Batala, chief of Akhand Kirtani Jatha Puran Singh Puran and various Nihang organisations.
Also honouring the new Jathedar immediately after the coronation ceremony Gurbachan Singh went inside the sanctum sanctorum of Golden Temple to pay obeisance amidst the human chain of nearly fifty members of SGPC task force.
It is noteworthy here that Gyani Gurbachan Singh was appointed acting Jatehdar of Akal Takht on August 5 following the resignation of Gyani Joginder Singh Vedanti] and on the same day final decision in this regard was taken during the executive meeting of SGPC held at Kurukeshtra in Harayana.
Earlier Gurbachan Singh was the Head Priest of Harmandar Sahib Amritsar and now Gyani Jaswinder Singh has been appointed his successor.
Gyani Gurbachan Singh was born on April 6, 1948, in Chakk Baja village in Muktsar district of Punjab, the home district of the Punjab Chief Minister.
He is considered very close to the Badal family as he is a frequent visitor to Badal’s family.
The tradition for the appointment of Jatehdar came in practice during the era of sixth Sikh Guru (master) Hargobind Sahib who laid the foundation of Akal Takht and appointed Bhai Gurdas as first Jatehdar Akal Takht who remained up to the year of 1694.
SGPC came into existence in 1920, since then Gurbachan Singh is 24th Jatehdar. Whereas, if considered since 1694 after Bhai Gurdas, Gurbachan Singh Singh is the 34th Jatehdar of Akal Takht.