Monday, November 22, 2010

How to solve Sikh infighting in Gurdwaras across globe?

I just read about the National Gurdawara in Maryland area of U.S. being dragged into courts and was saddened to hear about all this infighting and the story repeats over and over all over the World. Here are some quick thoughts and my few cents to offer solutions that Akal Takhat and every sangat may consider putting in place to end it once and for all. It is a disgrace for our community since actions of a few affect us all:

1) Every Gurdwara committee shall designate a meeting place away from Guruji's main darbar hall and hold a weekly meeting with all sangat members present.

2) Policy shall be placed to make sure there is No loud yelling, No abusive language, No physical assaults, No finger pointing, No kirpan pulling, No throwing things like chairs, papers, pencils, pens, tomatoes at each other etc. and No weapons of any kind shall be allowed besides Kirpan which shall never be pulled out in a Gurughar.

3) Commitee shall post in a conspicuous place of Gurughar and circulate among sangat, no less than five and no more than 20 copies of the "Monthly" financial report to sangat in a weekly meeting. The report shall be electronically posted on a website if available and emails of the report shall be sent to a sangat member upon request.

4) The financial report shall be detailed to include the following information:

a) any amount that exceeds five hours of minimum wage of the state and country, whichever is less, where the Gurdwara is located shall be included on the report. This includes expenditures for langar, maintenance, labor, and other services for the Gurdwara.

b) Details of the purpose of expenditure.

c) Name, address, contact number and email of the Person(s) along with organization or business receiving the money.

d) Name of the person from the Gurdwara committee authorizing the money to be spent.

e) Beginning and ending balances.

f) Type of transaction such as cash, check electronic etc.

f) Outstanding debts or credits or money owed and loaned to all individuals and entities.

5) Any disagreements or questions on the amounts being spent shall be in writing.

6) Expenditure Amounts of more than a month's wage based on 40 hours per week, shall be voted by sangat via electronically or secret paper ballot and shall be approved by at least three fifth majority. The ballots shall be opened in weekly meeting. This includes all sales of a portion or whole Gurdwara property. The profits from sale shall be controlled by a five member trust that shall not personally benefit from the sale and shall only be used for the purpose voted on by the sangat. Members of the trust shall be elected by the sangat and can not be from the same family and shall follow the above guidelines to give account to sangat. Transfer all current properties from individual names to five member trusts that are voted in by Sangat every two years and the proceeds from sale and transfer shall be approved by local sangat and shall benefit majority of the local sangat.

7) All expenses paid for hired sevadaars, raagi jathas etc. shall be approved by sangat vote at least a month prior to them performing services.

8) Add as it pleases and works for local sangat. Common sense shall prevail...

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