Akal Takht Jathedar ratifies SGPC decision on Sikh calendar; Panthic organisations launch offensive against the move
Published: January 5, 2010
Amritsar (January 04, 2010): In a move that will open a Pandora’s box for the Sikh nation, Giani Gurbachan Singh, the Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib has ratified the decision of the SGPC to dilute the Sikh almanac –the Nanakshahi Calendar. What will come as a shock to the Sikh world is that the provost of the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs put his seal on the suggestions of the SGPC at 2.10 pm today, without calling a meet of the Jathedars of the five Takhts, as is the customary decision to do so, but arranged for a quorum by inviting four Granthis of Darbar Sahib to endorse the decision.
Though this was quiet expected from the turn of events in the last few weeks, that the Jathedar too would do it with such alacrity to ditto the decision flouting age-old norms has come in for a lot of criticism from Panthic organisations who are gearing up for the next round of confrontation with the SGPC on this issue.
Harpal Singh Cheema, the Secretary General of Shiromani Akali Dal (Panch Pardhani) in a release from Fatehgarh Sahib said that the changes made to the Nanakshahi Calendar by the SGPC are unacceptable and that the Sikh nation will continue to observe all religious and historic days as per the Nanakshahi Calendar accepted and adopted by the Akal Takht and general house of the SGPC in 2003.
Calling the decision of the SGPC as that in the genre of the Ram Raiyas, the party has said that the decision of Avtar Singh and Parkash Singh Badal is treachery with the Khalsa Panth.
Touching a historical note, they recalled how the SGPC had disowned the Gurmata against Prof. Gurmukh Singh, after a hundred years and also disowned the act of honuring General O’Dwyer with Saropa for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, and said that, similarly this decision of the SGPC and Akal Takht will not go down well with the Panth and the Panth will have to review it.
Sandeep Singh, General Secretary of the Youth unit of Shiromani Akali Dal (Panch Pardhani), in a statement from Mohali appreciated the role of SGPC general secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, executive committee member Karnail Singh Panjoli and Ravinder Kaur for their bold stand at the SGPC meet yesterday when they resisted all efforts by the Badal Dal to toe the party line to make changes in the Nanakshahi calendar.
Dal Khalsa leader H S Dhami said the approval by Giani Gurbachan Singh, Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib of the SGPC’s decision to tamper with the contents of the Nanakshahi calendar will definitely lead the Sikh nation into another round of internecine struggle with the whole community vertically divided into two sides –those who are in favour of the original calendar and those who have pervailed upon the SGPC and the SAD leadership to bring radical changes in it.
Taking strong exception over the manner Giani Gurbachan Singh, the Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib has ratified the decision of the SGPC to dilute the Nanakshahi Calendar without calling a meet of the Jathedars of the five Takhts, the Dal Khalsa leader said that “We accept the challenge posed by the SAD that runs the SGPC and we will take the issue of Nanakshahi Calendar to the masses.
Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat leader Rajinder Singh said that the decision of the SGPC regarding Nanakshahi calendar is totally unacceptable and Sikhs must resist it in whatever manner possible. He pointed out that many Singh Sabha Gurdwaras in Chandigarh and Mohali have decided to oppose this latest move of the SGPC.
Sri Guru Singh Sabha Mumbai has also decided to move and adopt a resolution at the Guru Gobind Singh Gurpurab celebrations denouncing the SGPC step.
In a statement from Ludhiana, the Sikh Students Federation general secretary has questioned the authority of the executive committee of SGPC to alter the Nanalshahi Calendar that was adopted by its’ General House. Moreover the term of current general house has already expired and it lacks the authority to take vital decisions.
“Though Nankshahi Calendar was adopted by SGPC but it has been accepted by Sikhs living throughout the world, so now it can not be altered without making a universal consensus among Sikhs.” said Parmjeet Singh Gazi, President of SSF. “The Sikh Nation should disapprove the amendments made by the Badal lobby. All Panthic organization should take up the responsibility and call a general gathering of Sikhs to find a solution as per Sikh traditions.” he added.