SGPC haste to amend NanakShahi calendar raises eyebrows

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Amritsar, Jan 2(ANI): The Sikh Diaspora has raised eyebrows over the working of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) regarding amendments made in the NanakShahi calendar without taking the community into confidence.

It is also pertinent to mention that the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs, sent its proposals to SGPC to discuss the necessary action to make amendments in the calendar.

The SGPC has also called an emergency meeting of its executive members on Sunday to make certain amendments.

Talking to ANI, President of SGPC Avtar Singh Makkar said that the decision taken in the meeting would be for strengthening the Panthic unity. al Singh Purewal, a Canadian Sikh who is the founder of the calendar, questioned the urgency behind the modification of the NanakShahi calendar and said that the proposed changes will push the calendar to Bikrami pranali and it will be a retrograde step.

"If these changes are accepted then it will be a misnomer to call it NanakShahi calendar," Purewal said.

He also appealed to the Jathedars of the Takht Sahib and the SGPC to act in a calm and considerate manner on this issue and not to take any decision in haste.

Purewal further said that he is willing to come and answer any concerns in a joint meeting of Singh Sahiban, SGPC Executive Committee, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, and representatives of other Panthic organizations and Sant Samaj.

Meanwhile, a Washington based senior Sikh leader Dr. Amarjit Singh said that after the worldwide acceptance of the Nanakshahi calendar, it has made life much easier for Sikhs everywhere, as the dates of Sikh holy days no longer change from year to year as they used to under the Hindu Bikrami calendar.

"Gurpurbs (celebrations devoted to Gurus) now always fall on the same date, every year. More than that, the Nanakshahi calendar is now seen by the Sikhs all over the world, as a symbol of Sikh pride and separate religious identity, which is anathema to the Hindutva elements," Dr. Amarjit Singh said.

He also warned the Badals, that the Sikh diaspora will not tolerate any compromise by them on vital Sikh issues like the Nanakshahi calendar, and strongly urged the executive committee members of the SGPC that they should stand firm on decisions already made regarding the NanakShahi calendar.

Parmjit Singh Sarna, President of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), said that haste that SGPC was showing to amend the NanakShahi calendar was suspicious.

He said that it would be a sin if SGPC would amend the calendar without taking the community in confidence and added that by making amendments without the community consensus would weaken the unity.

Dr. Pritpal Singh, convener, American Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (AGPC) said that if the Sant Samaj and other who pressuring for the changes in the name of Panthic Unity first accept the "Rehat Maryada" (code of conduct) issued from Akal Takht.

The Sikh Diaspora demands that the SGPC should invite Pal Singh Purewal, chief architect of the NanakShahi calendar, to an OPEN discussion that will thrash out any doubts over NanakShahi alendar.By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)

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