Marital Status: Married
Hometown: Gidderbaha, Muktsar
Age: 50 Years
Some Lesser Known Facts About Giani Harpreet Singh
- Giani Harpreet Singh is a Sikh clergyman who was appointed the Akal Takht Jathedar, the highest spokesman of the Sikh community in 2018.
- Born to a Granthi father, Giani Harpreet Singh was inclined towards Spirituality and Sikhism since childhood.
- In 1997, at the age of 24, Harpreet Singh started serving as pracharak (preacher) under the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). He worked as pracharak for two years.
- From August 1998 to May 2017, he served as the Head Granthi at Sri Darbar Sahib, Sri Muktsar Sahib and Katha Vachak (Interpreter of religious texts).
- In May 2017, he was elevated to the position of Jathedar of Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib.
- On 10 November 2015, Jagtar Singh Hawara was selected as the Jathedar of the Akal Takht by Sarbat Khalsa (Khalsa formal assembly meeting. At that time, Jagtar Singh Hawara was jailed in Tihar Jail as he was convicted of the assassination of the former Chief Minister of Punjab Beant Singh. Sarbat Khalsa also declared Dhian Singh Mand as an interim Jathedar of Akal Takht, meanwhile demanding the removal of Gurbachan Singh. However, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar, said that all resolutions announced by Sarbat Khalsa were null and void principally. Giani Gurbachan Singh was opposed by the Sikh masses when he granted ex-parte pardon to Gurmeet Ram Rahim, Dera Sacha Sauda’s chief, who stirred controversy in 2015 when he appeared in a robe similar to that of Guru Gobind Singh. However, Giani Gurbachan Singh resigned citing his advanced age and ill-health.
- After the resignation of Giani Gurbachan Singh as Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib, in October 2018, Giani Harpreet Singh was given the additional charge of acting Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib, Amritsar, by the SGPC.
- On the appointment of Giani Harpreet Singh as Acting Akal Takht Jathedar, President of SGPC Gobind Singh Longowal said the Harpreet will remain on the post till a permanent Jathedar is appointed. Meanwhile, former SGPC president Kirpal Singh Badungar said,
The young Jathedar might not be as experienced as others, but he has a clean image and is non-controversial.”
- Thereafter, Giani Harpreet Singh started serving as the Acting Jathedar of Akal Takht and Jathedar of Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib simultaneously.
- Giani Harpreet Singh had to take the heat of the raging Sikh community after his appointment as he was tagged an appointee of the Badals. During a function at Golden Temple to observe the death anniversary of Indira Gandhi’s assassin, orthodox Sikhs refused to accept the siropa (robe of honour) from Harpreet and walked out. Harpreet also faced a bigger protest on Bandi Chhod Diwas (Diwali).
- Harpreet is the second Jathedar of the Akal Takht from Muktsar, after Giani Gurbachan Singh. Interestingly, both have served at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Muktsar.
- While talking about Giani Harpreet Singh in an interview, Muhammad Habib, who was supervising Harpreet Singh’s PhD research, said,
He [Giani] is very humble. Even after taking over as the Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib, he used to come to me like any other student. I think his understanding of other religions will help him function better.”
- In September 2020, Harpreet Singh publicly disciplined Gobind Singh Longowal, president of SGPC, and executive committee members of SGPC as they failed to review the misappropriation in its publication department due to which 328 Guru Granth Sahib saroops went missing. Saroop is a physical copy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, also called Bir in Punjabi.
- In September 2021, Giani Harpreet Singh held a meeting with Dr Aamer Ahmed, Chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) to appreciate their efforts in maintaining Gurdwaras in Pakistan.
- As of 2022, SGPC has neither appointed a permanent Jathedar nor accorded this status to Giani Harpreet Singh.