A Jathedar (Punjabi: ਜਥੇਦਾਰ) is a leader of a Jatha (a group, a community or a nation). Among the Sikhs, a Jathedar is an ordained leader of the clergy and leads a Takht, a sacred and authoritative seat.

Sikh clergy consists of five Jathedars, one each from five takhts or sacred seats. The Jathedar of Akal Takht makes all the important decisions after consultations with the Jathedars of the other four Takhts. The highest seat of the Sikh community is called Akal Takht.


During the 18th century, Jathedars of Takhts were appointed by the Sarbat Khalsa, a biannual deliberative assembly of Sikhs held at Amritsar in Panjab.

From 1921, Jathedars of Takhts have been appointed by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), an elected body of the Sikhs controlled by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), a political party in the state of Punjab and an ally of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In November 2015, the Sikhs appointed four interim Jathedars through the traditional Sarbat Khalsa at Chabba village on the outskirts of Amritsar, Panjab. Some 100,000 [1] to 500,000 Sikhs attended the event from around the world. A few Sikh organizations did not attend and refused to recognize the resolutions of the event. The congregation of Sarbat Khalsa 2015 dismissed the SGPC Jathedars and appointed interim Jathedars for Akal Takht, Damdama Sahib and Anandpur Sahib.

Jathedars of Akal Takht

Acting Jathedars of Akal Takht

Jathedars of Shiromani Panth Akali Buddha Dal - Panjva Takhat Chalda Vaheer Chakarvarti

Budha Dal is currently divided into two opposing sides, one led by Panth Patshah Baba Maan Singh and the other led by Baba Balbir Singh. Contrary to popular belief, Baba Joginder Singh is Jathedar of Budha Dal at Rakba. He himself has admitted this and recognizes Baba Balbir Singh as Jathedar.[citation needed]