SGPC asks Akal Takht to deal with Patna Sahib Jathedar

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Amritsar, Jan 31 (UNI) The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandik Committee (SGPC) today asked the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhism, to deal with Takht Patna Sahib Jathedar, Giani Iqbal Singh who had issued a controversial 'hukamnama' (edict) asking the community to reject the Nanakshahi calendar, which had been accorded approval as the 'official' Sikh calendar by the Akal Takht some years back.

This decision was taken at an emergence meeting of the SGPC executive held at Guru Nanak Nivas in the Golden Temple complex here. The meeting, presided over by SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar, had been specifically called after a group of Sikh intellectuals took serious note of the edict and asked the SGPC to take appropriate action against Giani Iqbal Singh.

''We have asked the Akal Takht to take action against Giani Iqbal Singh as per the Sikh tenets,'' Jathedar Makkar said after the meeting.

Giani Iqbal Singh had in his edict, issued on January 24, rejected the Nanakshahi calendar as it had created confusion about the dates of certain festivals and religious events, which did not coincide with the 'Vikrami' calendar which the Sikhs had been following for ages. Giani Iqbal Singh in his edict also called for bringing about changes in the morning and evening prayers of the Sikhs.

''The edict by Giani Iqbal Singh is aimed at undermining the supreme authority of the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhism,'' a resolution passed by the executive stated. The resolution said that Giani Iqbal Singh had no authority to issue an edict which concerns the entire community.

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vidanti has already summomned a meeting of the Sikh clergy on February 5 to discuss the matter, which he too has viewed seriously. The Jathedar has gone on record to state that only the Akal Takht could decide on matters which concern the entire Sikh community.

Giani Iqbal Singh, who was suspended as the Jathedar of Patna Sahib by the managing committee of that gurdwara, has so far refused to relent and has justified his actions. He has already issued summons to the Patna Sahib Gurdwara Management Committee chairman Mohinder Singh Romanna.

UNI XC-HS MS KP1909

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