Sikh Clergy ‘Bans’ Inter-Faith Marriages

May 15, 2007

Author: Raju William

Source: The Tribune

Dehra Dun, May 15--Feeling helpless in stemming the growing trend among the Sikh youth to marry into non-Sikh families, the Sikh clergy and community leaders here have put a virtual ban on inter-faith marriages.

Deliberating on the issue in a meeting of representatives of around 35 local gurdwara committees and other Sikh organisations at Gurmat Kender, Race Course Road, yesterday, a resolution was passed banning such alliances being solemnised at local gurdwaras. “We took the decision as such marriages were taking place in violation of the Sikh maryada,” said Balwinder Singh, president, Gurmat Satsang Sabha.

To make the decision more deterrent, the Sikh families failing to pay heed to this collective concern of the community would be liable for social boycott. Balwinder Singh, however, maintained that the decision should not be misread as communal. The resolution also warned against observing Hindu marriage rite of “jaimala” before “anand karaj.”

What if any boy or girl gets married through court? “We are helpless in that situation. But we do not mind such marriages if the non-Sikh bridegroom or bride embraces Sikhism,” he added. When contacted for his comments, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar endorsed this view.