Akal Takht jathedar calls for religious tolerance

  • HT Correspondent, Amritsar
  • Updated: Nov 24, 2015 20:28 IST
Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh. (HT Photo)

Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh called upon the Sikh community to shun the path of intolerance and spread the guru’s message of peace and universal brotherhood.

In his message to the community on the eve of Guru Nanak’s birthday here on Tuesday, the jathedar said the real tribute to the guru would be to shun the path of intolerance towards other religions. The guru was a strong believer in secularism and advocated respect for all religions, he added.

The jathedar called for giving due respect to women as advocated by the guru. The guru gave this message at a time when women were considered inferior to men and the message is relevant even in modern times, he added.

The jathedar said Guru Nanak spread his teachings by travelling to different corners of the globe and he did not hesitate in entering worshipping places of different religions. He called upon Sikhs to show respect to the Guru Granth Sahib and follow the path shown by the Sikh gurus.

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Avtar Singh Makkar also called upon Sikhs to follow the path of righteousness as shown by the guru. He called upon the youth to shun drugs and earn their living through honest means.

Nagar kirtan taken out

An impressive nagar kirtan (religious procession) led by the Panj Pyaras was taken out by the SGPC. The procession commenced from the Akal Takht and after winding through various localities of the walled city it culminated at the Takht.

Giani Gurbachan Singh, along with Giani Jagtar Singh, additional head granthi of Harmandar Sahib, accompanied the procession from the Akal Takht to the Guru Ram Dass Hall langar building.

A number of devotees and locals besides SGPC employees accompanied the nagar kirtan. People lined up in the streets to have a glimpse of the procession and paid obeisance before the Guru Granth Sahib, which was placed in a flower-decked vehicle.

Meanwhile, students and staff of Khalsa College and its allied institutes took out an impressive nagar kirtan, which commenced from the college campus and ended at the Golden Temple complex. The college traditionally takes out a procession on the eve of the Gurpurb of the first guru. The nagar kirtan by the college has the highest number of participants and is the longest procession witnessed by locals every year. Students displayed their gatka (martial art) skills as they marched with the other students.

Locals organised langars along the route the nagar kirtan took from the college campus to the shrine. Steaming hot tea, along with eatables, was served to the students and the staff at these langars.

Illumination at Golden Temple

The Golden Temple will be illuminated in the evening and even on Wednesday. There will also be a display of fire crackers on Wednesday evening.

On Diwali (Bandhi Chhor Divas) there had been no display of fireworks following the incidents of sacrilege. Only the sanctum sanctorum had been illuminated on Diwali but on Gurpurb the entire shrine will be lit up.

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