Covid shadow over 400th anniv celebrations of 9th Sikh guru
Low-key celebrations to mark the 400th Parkash Gurpurb (birth anniversary) of the ninth Sikh Master Guru Tegh Bahadur began in the city on Thursday, with the covid-19 surge a major dampener.
An Akhand Path (48-hour uninterrupted recitation of the holy Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib) was inaugurated at Gurdwara Guru Ke Mahal, the birthplace of the guru, followed by the start of religious events at nearby Gurdwara Manji Sahib Diwan Hall in the Golden Temple complex.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has dropped the plan of organising a grand event in the open area of New Amritsar locality due to the pandemic. Events are being held symbolically. Some devotees participated in the bhog of Sehaj Paths at the Manji Sahib; other joined in virtually.
SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur participated in the bhog of Sehaj Paths and addressed the sangat, motivating people to connect with the ideology of Guru Sahib. “The centenary days are a golden opportunity to connect with our history and embrace the values of the faith,” she said.
Bhai Rajdeep Singh offered prayers on the occasion while Giani Jagtar Singh, head granthi of Golden Temple recited the holy Hukamnama (decree). Covid-19 norms were flouted by almost all the attendees, with masks a rarity.
The main event will be held on May 1, when the SGPC wants relaxation in curfew for devotees. “The sangat which wants to pay homage should not be stopped, one-day lockdown should be relaxed. A Nagar Kirtan will be carried out from the Akal Takht to Gurdwara Guru Ke Mahal on April 30.”
Gurdwara Guru Ke Mahal has been illuminated and flower decoration has been done. Decorative gates and saffron flags have also been placed in the city.