Chandigarh: In a step towards gender equality, the Punjab government recently announced that women will now be allowed to sing hymns in the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The Punjab government unanimously passed a resolution urging the Akal Takht and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to allow Sikh women to sing inside the Harmandir Sahib.

The news which has come around the time of Guru Nanak Jayanti, has made it all the more auspicious.

And all thanks goes to Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, a state minister, who argued that Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev fought against caste and gender inequality throughout his life and this discrimination against women should also end.

During the discussion, Bajwa rejected an Akali leader claim that according to Sikh ”rehat maryada” (religious code of conduct), Sikh women are not allowed to perform ”Kirtan” at the ”Darbar Sahib”.

“There was no mention in the Sikh history of any discrimination against women,” said Bajwa, stating that Sikh women were not allowed to perform Kirtan Sewa till now. Only Sikh men perform ‘Kirtan’ at the Golden Temple currently.

Prior to this, back in 2005, Akali leader Bibi Jagir Kaur had also sought permission for Sikh women to perform Kirtan sewa at the holy Sikh shrine in Amritsar.