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Delhi Gurdwara Panel to take Sikh Jatha to Pakistan: Sarna

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 6 (UNI) The Delhi Sikh Gudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) will take a jatha of Sikh pilgrims to Pakistan on the eve of the fourth centenary of the martyrdom of Guru Arjun Dev, beginning June this year.

The DSGMC will also organise a seminar in Lahore on the contribution of the fifth Sikh Guru with participation from persian and sikh scholars, said DSGMC president Harvinder Singh Sarna adding that they had already placed a request for permission in this regarad to both Indian and Pakistan governments.

Presiding over a conference of Sikh leaders and intellectuals, convened by the DSGMC here today, Mr Sarna said seminars, meetings, inter-faith dialogues and interactions with scholars would be organised on the eve of the 'martyrdom day' to remove various misgivings prevailing among a vast majority of Indians about Sikhs and sikhism.

The martyrdom observance will be spread over two years coinciding with the period of compiling of sikh scripture, 'Guru Granth' by Guru Arjun Dev. The guru, who was 'martyred' in Lahore in 17th century, also created a distinct script for Punjabi language, which later came to be known as 'Gurmukhi'.

The sikh scripture, which is an anthology of holy hymns of 30 'Bhagats (saints) like Kabir, Namdev, Jai Dev and Dhanna and others was written and presented in Gurmukhi script.

Participating in the conference Guru Nanak Dev University Vice-Chancellor S P Singh and former university's Pro-VC Pirthipal Singh Kapoor said there was a need of adopting a multi-media approach to promote inter-faith understanding among Indians about Sikhism.

Former National Commission for Minorities (NCM) chairman Tarlochan Singh asked the DSGMC to run training courses for teachers and sikh youth to refresh their understanding about the religion's faith and history.

However, Dr Gurdarshan Singh Dhillon, a retired professor from Punjab University suggested that there was need to restruct and reinterpret the sikh history, usually written by those in power to shed the cobweb of 'misunderstanding and opportunism' that is obstructing the development of logic and rationality as demanded by the sikh youth to confront the 'onslaught of modernity'.

Several scholars in the conference, conducted by former Punjab Minister Manjit Singh 'Calcutta', stressed the need for taking the sikh ideology and philosophy to the Sikhs, promoting the Gurmukhi script and punjabi language instead of wining over the sikh youth shedding their 'sikh identity' (unshorn hair and turbans).

The DSGMC has created several prepratory committees for the observance of the martyrdom day effectively.

UNI JSS PM BD1857

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