Takht Patna Sahib Jathedar placed under suspension

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Amritsar, Jan 24 (UNI) The Jathedar of Takht Patna Sahib, Giani Iqbal Singh has been placed under suspension for violating the Sikh 'rehyat and maryada' (tenets and traditions) and for questioning the authenticity of the Nanakshahi calendar, which had been approved by the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhism.

The suspension orders were issued today by the President of Takht Patna Sahib Managing Committee, President, Mohinder Romanna, who is also a member of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandik Committee (SGPC).

Mr Romanna who is on his way to Amritsar to meet Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vidanti, confirmed the development.

'' We have suspended the Jathedar'', Mr Romanna told UNI when contacted on telephone. He claimed that the Managing Committee had the powers to suspend the Jathedar of Patna Sahib.

'' The Jathedar just cannot issue an edict without taking the Sikh community into confidence or without consulting the Akal Takht'', he said while confirming that he would be meeting Giani Joginder Singh Vidanti at the Akal Takht here tomorrow to discuss the controversial 'hukamnama' (edict) issued by Giani Iqbal Singh yesterday from Takht Patna Sahib.

In the edict, Giani Iqbal Singh called for bringing about certain changes in the morning and evening prayers of the Sikhs. In the edict he also outrightly called upon the Sikh community to reject the Nanashahi calendar and to follow the Vikrami calendar, which the Sikhs had been following before the Akal Takht gave its approval to the Nanakshahi calendar some years back.

The Akal Takht had asked the Sikhs to abide by the Nanakshahi calendar which is based on seasonal changes. This had led to a great deal of confusion in Punjab as the list of holidays, barring Diwali and Holi and a few others and the 'gurpurav' dates of the Sikh gurus differed with the traditional Vikrami calendar.

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