Uday Singh takes over as Satguru
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Thakur Uday Singh was on Sunday formally appointed as the new Satguru of the Namdhari sect at the bhog ceremony of Satguru Jagjit Singh.
This was Uday Singh's first public appearance as the Satguru, though an announcement in this regard was made in Hari Mandir a few days ago.
At the ceremony, attended by followers, the new chief was given the dastar of the late Satguru.
Uday Singh — Satguru Jagjit Singh's nephew — was declared the officiating head of the Namdhari sect on December 14 after the cremation of the Satguru.
With the International Namdhari Sangat announcing Thakur Dilip Singh as its leader, Thakur Uday was declared the next Satguru soon after. On December 21, Thakur Dilip had refused to accept the seat as the chief of the sect saying that no one except Mata Chand Kaur — Satguru Jagjit's wife — deserved that title at present.
However, the Bhaini Sahib headquarters of the Namdhari Sect had objected to it by saying that no woman can be in charge of the sect.
Jaswinder Singh, chairman of the International Namdhari Sangat, said: "Satguru Jagjit always gave equal rights to women, so how can his wife (Mata Chand Kaur) not be the supreme authority in Panth? On one hand, they are saying that Mataji decided that Thakur Uday will be the next successor and on the other, they are saying that women have no role. This is self-contradictory... Mataji is under tremendous pressure and hence, cannot say anything."
On Sunday, many followers said Thakur Dilip Singh will continue to be their Satguru and at Bhaini Sahib, they will only bow before Mata Chand Kaur.
Meanwhile, the bhog ceremony was held after Section 144 of the CrPC was imposed in the area, Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh, however, said: "This has nothing to do with the controversy between two groups. We have no idea about any controversy. Section 144 is normally imposed at a spot where a large gathering is expected."