G20 edu meet puts city on global map : The Tribune India

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Looking back 2023

G20 edu meet puts city on global map

G20 edu meet puts city on global map

Delegates at G20 summit pay obeisance at the Golden Temple.



Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 31

The holy city witnessed various religious and political developments during the year 2023. One such event was a call given by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal from the Golden Temple premises to bring ‘dissident’ Akali leaders into the party fold while seeking forgiveness for lapses in dealing with the 2015 sacrilege incidents at Bargari. The occasion was the 103rd anniversary of the SAD foundation.

Women envoys at the Sadda Pind in Amritsar. File photo

The SAD boasts of a majority of members in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) House, but it suffered a dent this year with the Opposition brewing within the party and from ‘dissident’ Akali leaders. Despite facing hurdles the SAD won the SGPC president’s annual poll. Harjinder Singh Dhami scored a hat-trick by winning the top post of the SGPC also known as Mini Parliament of the Sikhs.

Jathedar Giani Raghbir Singh was given the highest Sikh temporal seat at the Akal Takht replacing acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh on June 17.

Enrolment of voters for SGPC elections

Two years after the appointment of the Chief Commissioner of the Gurdwara Election Commission by the Centre, it was in October that the long due general elections of the SGPC were announced. The enrolment of voters for the elections is underway.

The SGPC also raised the issue of releasing the ‘Bandi Singhs’ (Sikh political prisoners) and demanded commutation of the death sentence of Balwant Singh Rajoana, convicted in former Punjab Chief Minister’s 1995 assassination case. To rope in the global Sikh community, the SGPC launched a campaign during which 26 lakh signatures were procured on a pro forma. These signatures were submitted to the Punjab Governor for the release of Sikh prisoners. The struggle is still on and remains inconclusive. The plan to hold a march in this connection from Gurdwara Sri Rakab Ganj to the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on December 20 was deferred at the eleventh hour.

Panel yet to launch satellite channel

The SGPC could not launch its full-fledged satellite channel this year. Giving ‘exclusive and sole’ rights to a private channel for the telecast of Gurbani from the Golden Temple had put the SGPC in a peculiar situation. The matter was also taken up in Vidhan Sabha prominently by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and in the SGPC’s General House. The SGPC had announced plans to launch its own satellite channel but official formalities laid by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting were yet to be fulfilled. As a stopgap arrangement, the SGPC hired a private firm to telecast Gurbani while reserving all rights and launched its own YouTube channel on July 24.

Rahul pays obeisance at Golden Temple

Another occasion that caught the limelight was the Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, performing ‘sewa’ (volunteer service) for the first time at the Golden Temple between October 2 and 4. He served langar among devotees, cleaned utensils and shoes and participated in all Sikh rituals while maintaining the Sikh rehat maryada.

Second round of G20 meeting on education

Amritsar was the destination for the Punjab leg of G20 Education Working Group events held between March 15 and 17, followed by L20 meeting between March 19 and 20. More than 55 delegates from the G20 countries, guest countries and invited organisations such as UNESCO and UNICEF participated in the three-day G20 meeting on education.

Amit Shah chairs Northern Zonal Council meeting

A brainstorming session on various inter-state issues was held here at the 31st meeting of the Northern Zonal Council (NZC) on September 26. The meeting was chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

On October 19, by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari unfurled 418-feet national flag, the tallest in the country, near spectators’ gallery at the Attari-Wagah Joint Check Post.

Unpleasant incidents hog limelight

Self-styled Waris Punjab De head Amritpal Singh and his supporters stormed into Ajnala police station to set free their arrested accomplice on February 23. In another incident, the three back to back ‘mysterious’ low-intensity explosions on the Heritage Street in May and the misappropriation of Golden Temple kitchen leftover processing scam worth Rs 2 crore in July too hogged the limelight.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Darbar Sahib Amritsar #G20 #Golden Temple Amritsar #Shiromani Akali Dal #Sikhs #Sukhbir Badal


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