Akal Takhat defers calendar decision till Wednesday

by Dharmendra Rataul

Sensing the divide over the issue of changes in the Nanakshahi calendar, the Sikh high priests today deferred the decision in the matter till Wednesday.

The Sikh clergy failed to reach any conclusion after the meeting as there was strong opposition from the Takht Damdamma Sahib Jathedar Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, against any change in the calendar.

Other than this, frequent “secret visits” by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee officials Roop Singh and Ram Singh to the jathedars while the meeting was in progress also raised many eyebrows.

The jathedars later announced that they will meet again on Wednesday as there was no consensus on the issue in today’s meeting.

Jathedar Nandgarh also raised a point that the SGPC General House had passed the adoption of the calendar in 2003 and a decision regarding any change can be taken by the House only and not SGPC chief. He also sought detailed discussion between Damdami Taksal head and chief of Sant Samaj Harnam Singh Khalsa and US-based Sikh scholar Pal Singh Purewal, who prepared the calendar.

“It is a serious matter and more deliberations are required,” said Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, who presided over the meeting. There were differences on certain dates but it was more on technical basis than any personal perspective, he added. Some delegations from All India Sikh Students’ Federation (Pir Mohammad) and Shiromani Akali Dal (Panch Pardhani) also met the jathedars and appealed not to make any changes. The issue of clarification submitted by former Akal Takht jathedar Prof Darshan Singh Ragi will also come up for discussion on Wednesday, said Gurbachan Singh.

Other jathedars who participated in the meeting were Takht Patna Sahib Jathedar Bhai Iqbal Singh, Takht Keshgarh Sahib Jathedar Giani Tarlochan Singh and Takht Hazur Sahib Jathedar Jyotinder Singh.

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