Despite Takht’s edict, SAD stays away from nagar kirtan to Nankana Sahib
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders stayed away from the Nankana Sahib-bound nagar kirtan in Punjab even as the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhism, had directed the Sikh bodies to participate in the religious procession that started from Gurdwara Nanak Piao Sahib in Delhi.
The nagar kirtan is organised by Parmjit Singh Sarna-led Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD-Delhi) to commemorate the 550th Parkash Purb of Guru Nanak.
Akal Takht acting jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh had issued the directive after Pakistan gave permission only to the SAD (Delhi) and rejected the SAD-controlled Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC)’s request for the same.
“Not a single leader of the SAD was taking part in the nagar kirtan. At least they should have respected Guru Granth Sahib and paid obeisance to the holy book in the nagar kirtan,” said Sarna.
“We were not contacted for holding this nagar kirtan. Actually, many nagar kirtans are being taken out daily in Punjab in the wake of the occasion and I am not aware of it,” said SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said on Wednesday during his visit to Amritsar.
Though the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), also controlled by the Akali Dal, made adequate arrangements for welcome and departure of the nagar kirtan at the Golden Temple, none of its members associated with the party was seen there. Only SGPC chief secretary Roop Singh remained with the procession in the shrine complex.
Also, few prominent faces of the Congress came to welcome the procession despite the Sarna group’s association with party leaders, including Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh. Only Congress MLAs Harminder Singh Gill, Tarsem Singh DC, Amritsar mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu and Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT) chairman Dinesh Bassi turned up to welcome and see off the procession at the Attari-Wagah border.