Modified version of Nanakshahi calendar again sparks controversy
Ever since the SGPC adopted it in 2003, the Nanakshahi calendar has been courting controversies on certain issues including the dates of religious festivals and ‘gurpurbs’.Updated: May 05, 2018 21:22 IST
The modified version of Nanakshahi calendar again sparked a row as the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) was forced to postpone the ‘Gurgaddi Diwas’ of sixth Sikh master Guru Hargobind from May 8 to June 7, following objection from Giani Jagtar Singh, head granthi of Sri Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple).
As per the calendar released by the SGPC, the ‘Gurgaddi diwas’ falls on 25 Baisakh (May 8), while the martyrdom day of fifth Sikh Guru Sri Guru Arjan Dev falls on 3 Haarh (June 17).
The head granthi objected to these dates, saying it leads to a long gap of 39 days between the two Gurpurbs, which was never witnessed earlier. He took up the issue with Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, who directed the calendar committee of the SGPC to review the date.
A meeting of the calendar committee held at Chandigarh on Thursday recommended the SGPC president to postpone the date for Gurugaddi Diwas to June 7. SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal has approved the recommendation, said SGPC spokesperson Diljit Singh Bedi on Saturday.
“The sangat got confused over the dates of the two Gurpurbs, so the recommendation of the calendar committee has been approved. Now, the Gurgaddi Diwas will be celebrated on 25 Jeth (June 7),” he added.
Notably, the SGPC had put up the posters for the Gurgaddi Diwas as per the May 8 schedule even as the confusion prevailed.
The development has again vindicated the stand of those who support the original version of Nanakshahi calendar, according to which the Gurgaddi Diwas falls on 28 Jeth (June 11).
“The Nanakshahi calendar was introduced to eradicate such shortcomings prevailing in the Bikrami calendar. However, the SGPC returned to the Bikrami calendar in the name of making amendments in the Nanakshahi calender. The SGPC move is leading to such controversies,” said Kanwarpal Singh, spokesperson for the Dal Khalsa, which released the original calendar as against the one modified by the SGPC.
Ever since the SGPC adopted it in 2003, the Nanakshahi calendar has been courting controversies on certain issues including the dates of religious festivals and ‘gurpurbs’.
The SGPC rolled it back under pressure from Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Dhumma-led Sant Samaj, which was in alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) during the SGPC polls in 2010.
The original version was replaced with the new one, which was modified as per the Bikrami calendar, but its nomenclature ‘Nanaksahi calendar’ was retained.
There was also a controversy over the date of celebrations of 351st birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Master, last year. As per the modified version, the Gurpurb fell on December 25, coinciding with the sombre occasion of martyrdom day of his four sons, known as Sahibzadas.