In recent months numerous weddings between Sikhs and non-Sikhs have been disrupted with some feeling that such ceremonies should be reserved for Sikh-only marriages. With marriage and faith infamously splitting opinion the whole wedding industry has had to have their say, with everyone from famous DJs and wedding car rental companies to invitation and catering firms shedding light on the subject.
The Sikh Council
The Sikh Council (UK) maintains the stance that the Sikh wedding ceremony, or Anand Karaj, should be protected, causing opinions to split throughout the country as well as the religion.
Where other argue that Sikhism teaches equality and acceptance the council seem very fixed in their beliefs, saying that non-Sikhs can only be involved if they accept the Sikh faith and change their name to include Singh or Kaur.
“If somebody really passionately wants to have an Anand Karaj they have to accept that the holy scriptures clearly states only a Sikh can be wedded by the Anand Karaj”, said Gurinder Singh Josan, from the Sikh Council.
Contradictions in teachings
Sikh scholar Davinder Panesar says:
“If the Gurus don’t accept division in faith, caste or gender, why is it being enforced on the Sikh community? It doesn’t make sense and contradicts Sikh teachings.”
The proposals put forward by the Sikh Council are voluntary. It is up to the Gurdwaras if they implement them.
But Navraj Singh is not sure everyone will follow the guidelines.
“I can envisage there are going to be some Gurdwaras who say we’re going to do what we want. I can still envisage some protests happening at these places of worship, people who chose not to follow the Sikh Council,” he said.
The wedding industry responds
Being the people that are actually organise and execute Asian weddings the UK wedding suppliers have made their fair share of comments of late, encouraging the Sikh council to move with the times.
Asian wedding transport supplier Weddingcarhire.co.uk was the first to make comment on the BBC investigation:
‘We provide cars for all types of weddings and would never discriminate against anyone of any faith. We think that the Sikh Council should place a lot more focus on the teachings of love and compassion rather than actively protesting and ruining people’s wedding days’.
Sikh wedding invitation company, Cardeva.co.uk, also wanted to have their say, commenting that:
‘Sikhism is meant to be a religion of respect. I think we should respect everyone’s wishes of how and who they wish to marry, protesting and excluding will only surround Sikhism with negativity’.
Showing a theme of disagreement with the council it appears Asian wedding companies are forming a slight alliance, protesting against the council to calm down on their dated views of religion.
[Source:- Wedding news]