Amritsar, March 6, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
In a concerted attempt to step up its campaign to restore the original Nanakshahi Calendar, Sikh political party Dal Khalsa launched the year 552 calendar in its original form accepted by the SGPC general house and ratified by the Akal Takht Sahib in March-April 2003 but debunked by the SGPC executive in 2010.
The organization believes Kartarpur corridor as a landmark achievement for Sikhs hence it dedicated the calendar to it. Having the image of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurating the corridor on it, the Sikh organization availed the opportunity to thank the Pakistan for the same.
Without mincing words, the leaders of the pro-freedom Sikh group said this calendar is a befitting reply to all those, who not only nurture bad-feelings about the corridor but also hatred against Sikh-Muslim bonds.
After performing ardaas at a simple ceremony at the Akal Takht Sahib, the Dal Khalsa leadership released the calendar of current year from Akal Takhat secretariat. During the release Dal Khalsa activists faced mild resistance from SGPC task force, who objected to the release of calendar from the secretariat premises.
However, Dal Khalsa members stick to their stand and there were heated arguments between both sides. Later on, incharge of the Takhat secretariat intervened and expressed regret over misbehaviour of task force members and allowed the Dal Khalsa members to release the calendar from there.
“We are determined to restore the Nanakshahi calendar in its originality and to its pristine glory.” Dal khalsa believed that having a unique and separate calendar was vital for the integrity of the Sikh religion.
Party president Harpal Singh Cheema said the Nanakshahi calendar was the identity marker for the Sikh community and reverting back to Bikrami has triggered confusion. He asked the SGPC to revert to original Nanakshahi calendar to bridge the gulf within the Sikh community.
All faiths and communities have their own calendar as a mark of their distinct cultural identity. Under the garb of amendments, the SGPC executive in 2010 has killed the spirit and uniqueness of the almanac said
Cheema said the Akali Badal Dal, under the influence of a section of the Sant Samaj tactfully reverted to Bikrami calendar but deceitfully retained Nanakshahi its name.
Party senior leader H S Dhami said in 2003, the then Jathedar of Akal Takhat Joginder Singh Vedanti in consultation with SGPC general house and Sikh organizations implemented the Nanakshahi calendar. His successor Gaini Gurbachan Singh, who’s remembered as disgraced jathedar reverted the calendar to Bikrami one under the dictates of Badals family.
“As of now, the ball is in the court of the present incumbent Gaini Harpreet Singh to undo the damage done by his immediate predecessor”. “The SGPC and its appointed Jathedar must realize their role and responsibility to end the discord on calendar issue within the Panth” and added that till then they will stick to original version.
Taking to the media at press conference, spokesperson, Kanwar Pal Singh said, “Nanakshahi Calendar is a manifestation of distinct identity and a clear symbol of the “Sikhs as a separate people”, set up and nurtured by the great Gurus. We view the SGPC made amendments as “abject surrender in the face of the expansionist designs of RSS/BJP leaders aiming to subsume the Sikh religion.
The calendar released today not only has Gurpurab related holidays but also dates relating to the contemporary Sikh struggle.
Terming it a symbol of faith and bonds, the calendar carried a brief background of the corridor under the title from Ardaas to hug to becoming reality. “The long journey for Kartarpur corridor, which started with prayers passed through hopes and promises, despair and scepticism from time to time. The famous hug between Pak army General Bajwa and ex-Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu set the ball rolling.
Pak PM Imran Khan’s googly ensured reluctant India agreeing to fulfill long cherished desire of Sikh Nation. With corridor becoming a reality on 9 Nov 2019, all designs and moves by the people in power that nurture hatred against Sikh-Muslim bonds stand defeated”.