May 23, 2015 | By Parmjeet Singh
Amritsar, Punjab: Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee has asked Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) to start following amended version of Nanakshahi Calendar. In a written statement issued from Amritsar, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar advised Pak Gurdwara panel to “follow directives of Akal Takht Sahib”.
In his statement, Avtar Singh Makkar said, “PSGPC should come out of the influence of a handful-of foreign based Sikhs and observe Sikh is religious days only according to Akal Takht approved Nanakshahi Calendar”.
SGPC president also criticized Pakistan High Commission for rejecting visa applications of SGPC jatha who had sought visas to visit Pakistan to mark martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev as per amended version of Nanakshahi Calendar.
“It is unfortunate that Pakistan government has declined visas to Sikhs stating that martyrdom day was on June 16 and not on May 22, those going to Pak to observe the gurpurab are going on their personal capacity ” said Makkar adding that Pak government should shun interfering in the religious affairs of Sikhs.
“No Sikh organization can go alone ignoring our supreme temporal seat, soon or later they have to abide by Akal Takht” said Makkar.
He said that PSGPC was challenging the supremacy of Akal Takht under the influence of Sikhs like Manmohan Singh , Gopal Singh Chawla who had no management of Gurdwara’s under their control.
He questioned how PSGPC could challenge the Nanakshahi Calendar which had approval of five Sikh Jathedars.
Nanakshahi Calendar Issue – recent amendments: a source of confusion:
The Nanakshahi Calendar is a Sikh Calendar. It was initially prepared by Sikh scholar Pal Singh Purewal. Nanakshahi Calendar was adopted for the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee after approval of Akal Takht Sahib in 2003. The calendar was widely accepted by the global Sikh community. Only few seminaries such as the Sant Samaj had expressed reservation over the calendar. As the Nanakshahi Calendar was considered to be a symbol of separate Sikh identity. Hindutva bodies such as RSS were also trying to dilute the significance of the Sikh Calendar.
Under pressure from the Sant Samaj, Hindutva forces and as per the directions of it’s controlling party – Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), the SGPC drastically amended the Nanakshahi Calendar in 2010.
A large section of the Sikhs, especially the Sikh diaspora, refused to accept the amended version. Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee and American Sikh Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee were two prominent Sikh bodies who declared to follow the original version of the Nanakshahi calendar.
The original Nanakshahi Calendar was based on solar calculations whereas the amended version is based on lunar calculations. After the 2010 the dates of various important events started to change every year.
SGPC and Akal Takhat Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh released yet another further amended version of Nanakshahi Calendar this year. SGPC and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, both controlled by Badal Dal, are making all efforts to get the recently amended version implemented by Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (PSGPC).
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