– Kulwant Singh Ankhi
Former Granthi(priest and Sikh scripture reader) and former Jathedar of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti had been a prominent grammarian and explicative exegete of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. He taught efficiently a large number of religious studies students. He had been a supervising educator of recitation and absolute pronunciation of Gurbani at Nishan-e-Sikhi, Khadoor Sahib. He also served as an honorary visiting professor in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Studies Department of Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar.
He was born on 23 April 1940 in the family of S.Nahar Singh and Bibi Nihal Kaur at village Talwandi Khurd in Ludhiana district. As he was brought up in a religious family, he was sent to a religious seminary of a Udassi saint Sarup Daas for fundamental and preliminary education, where he learned recitation of Gurbani. In 1956 he joined the Damdami Taksal led by Sant Gurbachan Singh Bhindranwale when the latter was on a mission of preaching Gurbani, Sikh Principles, and Sikh history. As a member of Taksal, he learned the perfect Sikh custom of recitation of Gurbani. He studied rhyming details of “Dasam Granth, Gurpartap Suraj Granth, Waran Bhai Gurdas, Kabit Swaiya, and Janam Sakhis.”As a determined and devoted explorer-researcher, he remained busy in the studies of ancient languages and dialects of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. He also studied the “Vedant sacred books like Saarkutawali, Bharav-simrit, Vicharmala, Adhiatam-Parkash, Vichar-Sagar, Vairag-suttak, and Parbodh Chander Naatak, etc.”Hence he was called “Vedanti” respectfully.’In 1964, he joined Shiromani Gurudwara Parbabdhak Committee (SGPC) as a granthi (reader Sikh scripture)at Gurudwara Pipli Sahib, Putlighar Àmritsar.In 1979 he was appointed as Ardassia in the Sanctum Sactoram of Sri Harmandir Sahib. His services were also availed as a member of, “Pad-chhed vichar Committee” while printing the Guru Granth Sahib with separation of words. Earlier the words of Shi Guru Granth Sahib were joined. He toured England, America, Canada, Nepal Pakistan countries and drew significant conclusions regarding the linguistic point of view of ancient hand-written holy books
He was also instrumental in the digitalism of more than 400 hand-written volumes of Sikh scripture. He along with some learned fellows sabotaged a conspiracy hatched at the British Library to establish a computerized hand-written Sikh scripture to create dilemma and confusion about “The original Kartarpuri Bir .”Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti was appointed “Jathedar Sri Akal Takhat Sahib”, the highest temporal seat of Sikhism on 29th May 2000. He served as Jathedar till 5-8-2008. As Jathedar, he issued an edict to shun the immortal and inhuman practice of foeticide. He also directed SGPC to formulate service rules of Jathedar of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib. SGPC was also directed to adopt Nanakshahi Calendar 2003.
He was very much an expert and specialist in revealing the era of ancient hand-written holy scriptures just from the quality of paper, used ink, suprasegmental signs, and nasalization of symbols, etc. An eminent Sikh Scholar and devoted researcher of international repute breathed his last on 15th May this year. Besides national and international political and religious personalities prime minister Narendra Modi and former prime minister Dr.Manmohan Singh have expressed grief on the demise of Singh Sahib Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti.