January 17, 2010 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Ludhiana (January 17, 2010): The crisis within the Sikh community have further deepened on the issue of Nanakshahi calendar as a large section of Sikhs today openly revolted against the amendments made by the SGPC executive committee and resolved not to rest in peace till the arbitrary decision of the SGPC is not withdrawn.
At a convention organized by various bodies that include Dal Khalsa, SAD (Panch Pardani), DSGMC, Shiormani Khalsa Panchayat, Shiromani Panthic Council, Akal Federation, Sikh Students Federation, Sikh Youth of Punjab, Tat Khalsa, the leaders voiced their concern against mixing of Nanakshahi calendar with Bikrami calendar and rejected the amendments.
The gathering urged the Akal Takht jathedar to suspend the implementation of the changed version of the calendar as the move would widen the gulfs within the Sikh community. The resolution to this effect was passed during the convention. The speakers were in a defiance mood and warned the SGPC and the SAD leadership for triggering confrontation and conflict with their adversaries.
They resolved to convene the Sikh Conclave on March 14 (1 chet) to mark the first day of the New Year as per Nanakshahi calendar in consultation with Gurdwara Management bodies and Singh Sabha’s within the country and Sikh Diaspora.
The gathering vows to stick to the original version of the calendar adopted on 28 March 2003. “It has been barely 6 years and we have not yet even basked in the glory of the calendar which brought respite to the identity question and the very being of Sikhs –badly brutalized in June and November 1984”, reads another resolution.
Dal Khalsa president H S Dhami said these so-called changes in the Nanakshahi Calendar have diluted the uniqueness of the Sikh almanac. “We are convinced that the only way to revert the wrong and arbitrary decision of the executive committee led of the SGPC is to get all the cronies of SAD led by Badal dislodged from the SGPC in the coming general house elections”.
Harpal Singh Cheema of the SAD (Panch Pardani) saw some hidden forces at work in the crisis, he said after the changes the mix-up calendar will no longer be the Nanakshahi calendar, yes it will be Nanakshahi only in name and that is meant to hoodwink the Sikhs.
Coming down heavily on the SGPC head Avtar Singh Makkar, veteran Akali leader Manjit Singh Calcutta said the height of his shamelessness was demonstrated in his conduct during the SGPC executive committee where he said, “we are here not do discuss merits and demerits of the calendar. The decision to alter the calendar has been finalized by core group of the party and the party president has clearly instructed to follow the party line”. While imposing the party discipline on the committee members, the SGPC chief may have shown his loyalty to his political bosses but in the end he has betrayed the Guru Panth, Mr Calcutta observed.
In scathing observations made during his speech, Bhai Rajinder SIngh said the Nanakshahi Calendar was an identity marker for the Sikh community and the changes have killed the spirit of the almanac.
Another Dal Khalsa leader Kanwarpal Singh said that those claiming to have achieved panthic unity by agreeing to the changes in the almanac need to reflect on the long-term consequences of their capitulation. Condemning all efforts to effect changes in the Nanakshahi Calendar he said these were inspired and encouraged by Hindutva forces and the changes amounted to saffronization of the almanac that gave the Sikhs their unique identity.
The gathering praised Takht Damdama Sahib jathedar Gaini Balwant Singh Nandgarh, SGPC general secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, executive members Karnail Singh Panjoli, Ravinder Kaur for opposing the amendments during meetings.
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