SGPC unveils Nanakshahi calendar in Amritsar

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Amritsar, March 14 (ANI): Celebrations for the Sikhs New Year are underway in Amritsar as the Nanakshahi or, the Sikhs' almanac was unveiled by the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) here at the Golden Temple on Sunday.

SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar and Paach Singh Sahabaan released the revised calendar for the next year and distributed it among the devotees present on the occasion today.

"The calendar has been issued for every Sikh in India and abroad. I hope that every Sikh will accept this calendar and will pray for the progress of Sikh religion," said Gurbachan Singh, chief of Akal Takht.

The Nanakshahi calendar earlier got sanction of the Akal Takht.

This year the calendar was released amid controversies as the changes proposed by the SGPC in the revised calendar had been vehemently opposed by a large section of Sikhs had who favoured the calendar released in 2003.

The decision was taken after long discussions and the Akal Takht, the apex body of Sikhs, approved the changes.

"The calendar has been approved by the head Jathedar of Akal Takht. I will request the entire Sikh community to keep the pride the pride of the Akal Takht intact. It is the responsibility of every Sikh," said Avtar Singh Makkar, chief of SGPC.

This year the Nanakshahi calendar enters in its 542th year. It is a solar calendar, and the name has been derived from Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith.

However, the Nanakshahi calendar's present version has witnessed criticism too.

Pal Singh Purewal, a Canadian engineer by profession who created this Nanakshahi calendar, rued that even after he sent so many proposals to the Akal Thakht, the highest temporal body of Sikhs, as well as SGPC, he was not consulted before making amendments in the Nanakshahi calendar.

Dr. Pritpal Singh, convener of the American Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (AGPC) said that a big section of Sikh Diaspora have refused to accept the latest amended version of the Nanakshahi calendar, as it's not been done with the consensus .

Besides, the AGPC, Gurdwaras of Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, and Germany have rejected present version of the Nanakshahi calendar, as they wish to continue to abide by the previous version of the calendar. By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)

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