Sikh Community Welcomes Bhai Baldev Singh Vadala


Bhai Baldev Singh Vadala (center) singing Gurbani along with his fellow team member (left). Bhai Rajinder Pal Singh with the SNC played the table at a satsang held at the SNC Gurdwara on Thursday, April 28.

By Kuldip Singh

HOUSTON: Texan Sikhs gave a warm welcome to Bhai Baldev Singh Vadala, the founder of the Sikh Sadbhawana (Cooperative) Dal and organizer of the Gurdwara Management Sudhaar (Improvement) movement that has spread across North India. He has been in the US for the past month and is expected to visit other Gurdwaras in other cities over the next two months. The Management Board and members of the Sikh National Center of Houston were so impressed with his oratory address and discourses on being a Sikh that they offered him full support for his future activities in North America.

Vadala is one of best known Guru Kirtnia in the Sikh community. He has recited the Gurbani at the Holy Golden Temple in Amritsar for almost 15 years. When he observed some irregularities and corruption among the leaders who manage the Shromni Gurdwara Perbandhak Committee, he pointed it out to the rest of the management. After no action was taken, he protested and brought it out through the media. As a result, he was released from his duties of Hazoori Ragi at Hariminder Sahib and transferred to Gurdwara Sahib in Zeend, Haryana. According to some reports, he and his team members were not paid their wages for six months.

Vadala alleged that the SGPC appointed an additional Secretary, Harcharan Singh, in addition to 35 such other individuals already in the management and that the SGPC was paying a huge sum of Rs. 5 lakhs ($7,690) per month. This new person’s salary is 10 times more than that of the other secretaries. In addition, the SGPC pays Rs. 10 lakhs ($15,380) per month for the services of a chartered accountant, although many well-known accountants have offered their services for free. Vadala has complained and made the GMS aware of brought these irregularities.


Bhai Vadala after the Gurbani with (from left) Gurcharan Singh Bhar, this reporter, Kuldip Singh and Gursharan Singh.
Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

Vadala recalled how in the past, Gurdwara Nankana Sahib (now in Pakistan) was captured by Mahant Narian Das who considered it as his family property. In 1921, Bhai Lachman Singh and his team of Sikhs liberated the Gurdwara from Narian Das’ clutches. A peaceful march was organized by Bhai Lachman Singh and his team of 158 Sikh’s, all of whom were first killed and then chopped to small pieces so no one could recognize their bodies. This was done by Mahant Narian Das and his hired gundas (thugs) within the Gurdawara Nankana Sahib Complex. On the day after the liberation of Gurdawara Nankana Sahib, the SGPC was formed by the Sikh Gurdwara Act of 1925.

Vadala said that today again, the SGPC management is in the hands of the Badal family with the same intentions as Mahant Narianu Soach as they are a well-organized team of crooks, who, along with their agents, are draining millions from the Gurdwara funds into their own pockets. Vadala related several such incidents, one of them in which the family’s agents created a need to purchase a house near Gurdwara Anandpur Sahib. They purchased the house for Rs.76 lakhs ($116,920) in their personal name and then later sold it to the SGPC for Rs. 2.76 crores ($425,000). When this was pointed out to the SGPC, the agents of the present Narianu Soach group terminated the services of Vadala and his team members.

Vadala said that the Sikhs have three main bodies in India: the SGPC for Management of Historical Gurdwaras;  the Sromani Akali Dal, a political wing of the Sikhs and the Board of the Akaal Thakht. A Muslim follower donated some land to Gurdwara Sahib, through a Miri-Piri Trust formed for that property and managed by the same Narianu Soach.  On March 31 this year, SGPC agents gave Rs. 106 crores ($16.3 million) to this trust run by the Narianu’s Soach family for management of SGPC. Even after the Sikh community protested, the SGPC gave another Rs. 5 crores ($769,000).

The management boards of all the Gurdwaras in Austin, San Antonio and Dallas supported the noble task started by Bhai Baldev Singh Vadala. Houston’s Sikh National Center offered Vadala to open up the North American Headquarters’ of the Sikh Sadbhawana (Cooperative) Dal at their location and committed full economic, management, media and communication support. Professor Sampuran Singh, Secretary of the SNC expressed the need for all North American Sikhs and Gurdwaras to form a chapter of the Sikh Sadbhawana (Cooperative) Dal and work under the guidance of Vadala.