January 13, 2010 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh (January 12, 2010): As per certain media reports a civil suit seeking restraint on the implementation of altered Nanakshahi calendar was filed in district court, Chandigarh by Harmohinder Singh, convener, Punjab unit, Shiromani Akali Dal, Delhi, on Tuesday .
The suit was filed seeking permanent injunction restraining Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and its members from implementing new Nanakshahi calendar as decided in January 3 meeting, until a calendar is decided by the Sikh community. The suit added that directions be issued to the SGPC and its members to prevent it from interfering in decisions of religious interpretations, practices and assuming the role of religious authority in contravention of the constitution.
According to suit, Pal Singh Purewal, a Canadian and renowned Sikh scholar, drafted calendar after consulting various scholars, jurists and members of various Sikh bodies. This calendar was accepted by Sikh community worldwide and was implemented in year 2003. However, recently SGPC constituted a body to determine calendar for Sikh religious holy days with a direction for all Sikhs to observe these and celebrate or commemorate them.
The committee set up by SGPC lacks competence in field of both calendars and religious dates. It lacks legal authority to deliberate on such matters, the plaint claimed; adds the report.
Commenting on it, certain Sikh leaders have claimed that this is not an issue that could be decided by the courts as it would harm the internal sovereignty of the Sikh Nation. “Neither party is ready to take it as a Panthic or collective issue. Group-ism and vested interests are spoiling the importance of separate calendar which is related to a vital aspect of Sikh identity.” said Jagdeep Singh, central committee member of Sikh Students Federation.
“The changes made by the SGPC and the way in which they are made, both are objectionable.” said Bhai Harpal Singh Cheema of SAD (Panch Pardhani).
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