400th birth anniversary of 9th Sikh guru: Accept farmers’ demands to mark historic day, Akal Takht to Centre
Akal Takht acting jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh on Saturday said in view of the 400th birth anniversary of ninth Sikh master Guru Tegh Bahadur that fell on Saturday, the Centre must meet all demands of farmers protesting at the borders of Delhi, including the repeal of the three farm laws.
“Governments usually do such tasks in the wake of this kind of historic centenary, like releasing prisoners from jail. As we mark the 400th Parkash Gurpurb, the union government should meet all demands of farmers. This will ensure they return home safely, as the covid-19 pandemic has taken a turn for the worse,” said the jathedar. He was addressing a gathering at a function at the Gurdwara Manji Sahib Diwan Hall in the Golden Temple complex.
Even as a lockdown is in force across Punjab, devotees thronged the gurdwara in numbers, with most not wearing masks. There was no social distancing. Kar Sewa organisations and Damdami Taksal had made special langar arrangements.
When queried on the large gathering of devotees at the function, he said, “When love with the Guru outdoes fear of covid-19, we cannot stop devotees from gathering in gurdwaras. Everyone should take precautions, while paying obeisance. Getting frightened by the disease is not the right approach.”
Taking on the Union government on the issue of oxygen shortage, he said, “If people are dying of covid-19 amid oxygen shortage, the Centre is responsible for it.”
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Bibi Jagir Kaur said a documentary depicting the journey of the ninth Guru from his birth to martyrdom will be commissioned. “Biographies of contemporary pupils of the guru will also be circulated through documentaries. The bani (hymns) of the guru will be translated into five other languages,” she said.
“A chair will be set up in the name of Guru Tegh Bahadur at Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University, Fatehgarh Sahib. Houses would be set up in the name of Sikhs associated with him, and research will be done,” she added. SGPC held another function at the guru’s birthplace Gurdwara Guru Ke Mehal, where the bhog ceremony of the Akhand Path concluded early in the morning. Sikh religious personalities and preachers addressed the gathering, after which a gurbani kirtan was performed.