Accusing Akal Takht Jathedear Giani Gurbachan Singh of bowing to political pressure from the SGPC and taking the controversy surrounding the Nanakshahi Calendar even further the former Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti today released the ‘original’ Nanakshahi Calendar prepared by Sikh Scholar Pal Singh Purewal, published by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) for the New Year at a hotel here today.
Speaking on the occasion, Vedanti gave a call to Sikhs across the globe that they should follow the original Nanakshahi Calendar that came into inception under his tenure as the Jathedar of Akal Takht in 2003.
The former Akal Takht Jathedar said the original calendar was a symbol of the separate identity of the Sikhs. He said, if there were any objections, those should have been submitted to the Akal Takht, in writing, and put up before the 11-member panel formed to deal with issues relating to the calendar.
He said that he had sought objections over the calendar during his tenure but didn’t receive any. He said it was sad that none of the Takht Jathedars were included in a two-member committee formed to make amendments in the Calendar.
Reminding those concerned, Vedanti said, that the panel formed during the making of the Calendar still holds good as it has not been disbanded till now. Any proposal regarding amendments has to be placed before the panel, he said.
Vedanti urged that any further amendment should have been and should be discussed with the Sikh Organisations which acknowledge the supremacy of the Akal Takht. A consensus should be evolved before making the changes, he added.
Recalling the discussions among Sikh organizations, historians and intellectuals and consent from the Akal Takht and the SGPC, Vedanti Said, it was unfortunate that no discussions preceded the amendments.
Paramjit Singh Sarna, the president of DSGMC has already released the calendar on December 31 last year, from Rakab Ganj Gurdwara, New Delhi.
Vedanti said that the amendments carried out in Nanakshahi Calendar made it lose its originality. He termed the amendments carried out in the year 2009-
10 as “unnecessary” and said, “The calendar’s soul has been destroyed.”
He maintained that the original calendar released in 2003 was based on solar charts, while the amended one is based on lunar charts. Dates of all important ‘gurpurabs’ in the revised version had been fixed as per the lunar Bikrami Calendar, he alleged.
This act of Jathedar Vedanti can be seen as an open defiance of Akal Takht.