Sikhs divided over whether Surrey temple executives should be baptized believers only

Published: November 14, 2012

Worshippers attend the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Temple on 120th Street in Surrey, B.C. May 30, 2012. Ric Ernst/PNG

TOM ZYTARUK
SURREY NOW

A serious division remains at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey over whether temple executive committee membership should be restricted to baptized believers only.

The B.C. Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal of Justice Laura Gerow’s decision to invalidate the passing of a controversial resolution, put forward at a temple meeting in June 2011, to restrict executive committee membership to baptized Sikhs only.

The B.C. Supreme Court judge found inadequate notice was given to the congregation’s 30,000 or so members concerning the proposed amendment.

To be a member of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, one of North America’s largest Sikh temples, one must be at least 18 years old, a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant, live in Surrey, Delta or White Rock, and, of course, believe in Sikhism.

In November 2009, the temple’s current executive, known as the Sikh Youth Executive, was elected. All members of that slate are baptized.

More than 20,000 of the temple society’s membership – a majority of them are not baptized – voted in that election.

In June 2011, there was a meeting where a number of resolutions to amend the temple society’s bylaws were presented, one of which was to limit membership to the executive to the baptized only.

“There is no issue that this is a significant change to the bylaws and would result in the majority of the members of the society being ineligible to run for election for the executive,” Gerow noted in January, after the matter went to court.

Gerow nixed the resolution, finding that inadequate notice was given to members about the vote. In setting the resolution aside, she noted that a society cannot pass bylaws that violate the Society Act.

The judge stated in her reasons for decision that she believes “the court has no role is a religious debate” but added that “given the divisiveness of the issue, it is my view that it is also appropriate to order that any proper amendment to the qualifications for designated offices be overseen by an independent observer.”

Gerow’s decision to invalidate the resolution was appealed. On Nov. 2, Justice John Hall, of B.C.’s appeal court, upheld Gerow’s decision following a court hearing in Vancouver.

“This case appears to involve at its heart a controversy between what might be termed certain of the ‘old guard’ members of the society and some younger members,” Hall observed.

Hall did, however, question her order that an independent observer should oversee any future vote on this resolution.

“Such an order immediately raises the query of how the term ‘independent’ should be construed,” Hall stated in his reasons for decision. “One party’s ‘independent observer’ might be considered highly biased by another party. If an order of this sort is to be made, I consider it could only be made after a process wherein respective parties put forward suggestions as to who might properly be chosen to undertake such a function.

“By such procedure,” Hall said, “a court would be enabled to properly assess who might be appointed to perform such a function. I venture to observe that if proper notice of a meeting were to be afforded to members of the society and a transparent methodology adopted for conduct of a meeting, no ‘observer’ should be required.”

For more Surrey news, visit Surrey Now.






Featured

Surrey Six

Forum at Surrey gurdwara to address recent shootings and drugs-related violence

‘The gurdwara feels responsible to pro-actively engage with the public in stopping this senseless violence’ SURREY NOW SURREY — Eileen Mohan, the mother of “Surrey…
Continue Reading »

police-Newton-desi-Vancouver-BC

Surrey NDP MPs Jinny Sims and Jasbir Sandhu call on Tories to help stop shootings

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — Surrey’s NDP MPs are calling on the federal Conservative government to do something to help stop a flurry of…
Continue Reading »

Surrey-desi-politics-shootings-crime-Arun

Podcast: NDP MLA Harry Bains talks about April 19 shooting in Surrey

VANCOUVER DESI In this week’s podcast, Province political columnist Michael Smyth talks to NDP MLA Harry Bains about the April 19 shooting death of his…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Surrey Six

Forum at Surrey gurdwara to address recent shootings and drugs-related violence

‘The gurdwara feels responsible to pro-actively engage with the public in stopping this senseless violence’ SURREY NOW SURREY — Eileen Mohan, the mother of “Surrey…
Continue Reading »

police-Newton-desi-Vancouver-BC

Surrey NDP MPs Jinny Sims and Jasbir Sandhu call on Tories to help stop shootings

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — Surrey’s NDP MPs are calling on the federal Conservative government to do something to help stop a flurry of…
Continue Reading »

Hollywood-Bollywood

Harold & Kumar actor Kal Penn stars in film being shot in B.C.

MICHAEL D. REID TIMES COLONIST Kal Penn is coming to town to star in The Girl in the Photographs, a horror feature that began shooting…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Hollywood-Bollywood

Harold & Kumar actor Kal Penn stars in film being shot in B.C.

MICHAEL D. REID TIMES COLONIST Kal Penn is coming to town to star in The Girl in the Photographs, a horror feature that began shooting…
Continue Reading »

PARENTS-VIOLENCE

Video shows a mom beating school staff after her daughter was stopped from carrying cellphone

  HINDUSTAN TIMES A woman allegedly beat up the director of a school in Jalandhar after her daughter was stopped from carrying a mobile phone…
Continue Reading »

fetish-desi sex-school girl-viral video

Video shows a young girl being brutally beaten with a stick, kicked by her father

VANCOUVER DESI A viral video of a father brutally beating up a young girl will make you shiver with anger and disgust, and want to…
Continue Reading »

gang life prevention

End Gang Life: Problems surrounding gun violence run deeper than skin colour or culture

SGT. LINDSEY HOUGHTON SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Kids are shooting at each other.  The violence these children are engaged in with each other has now…
Continue Reading »

desi sex-video-lust-bollywood

Video shows how a woman reacted when a pervert kept staring at her breasts

VANCOUVER DESI In a conservative country like India, where women’s rights are suppressed way too often, what do you do when a lecherous man won’t…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Desi-sex-boobs-india-porn-bollywood

Indo-Canadian actress Sunny Leone: People write all sort of crazy stories about me

HINDUSTAN TIMES Actor Sunny Leone, recently hit headlines when she was quoted as saying that she doesn’t like being compared to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The…
Continue Reading »

Deepika Padukone

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone not interested in donning producer’s hat

HINDUSTAN TIMES While many of her contemporaries like Anushka Sharma and Ranbir Kapoor have entered the realm of film production, actor Deepika Padukone says that…
Continue Reading »

Kangana Ranaut

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut “had to learn triple jump for Tanu Weds Manu Returns”

HINDUSTAN TIMES We have seen actor Kangana Ranaut play a Delhi girl many times. Be it the flamboyant Tanu in Tanu weds Manu (2011) or…
Continue Reading »