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Posted at: Jan 7, 2019, 7:03 AM; last updated: Jan 7, 2019, 7:03 AM (IST)

Calendar row leads to confusion over Guru’s birth anniversary

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 6

Due to different calendars followed by Sikh bodies, there is a confusion regarding the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh. While several Sikh organisations who support the original Nanakshahi calendar, the occasion was celebrated on January 5, whereas the SGPC and its affiliated institutions which follow the “amended” Nanakshahi calendar (christened as Nanakshahi Samat 547 calendar and tentatively as Bikrami version) would celebrate the day on January 13 this year.

The original Nanakshahi calendar, which was implemented in 2003, is based on solar charts. It has fixed the dates of all major Gurpurbs and all 12 “sangrands”.

Thereupon, amendments were made to it in 2010 by the SGPC on the basis of lunar charts on the insistence of the Sant Samaj. With a view to eradicate confusion in dates, another amendment was made to it and a new version of “Nanakshai Samat 547” was introduced on March 14, 2015.

Nonetheless, this amendment too led to confusion and division among the Sikh community.

Various Sikh organisations celebrated the birth anniversary of of the 10th guru on January 5. J&K-based Sikh organisations observed the occasion with much fervour. So was done in Pakistan as the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee follows the original Nanakshahi calendar. Similarly, local organisations Akal Purakh Ki Fauj and Panthic Talmel Sangathan too celebrated it.

It has been learnt that since Lohri too falls on January 13, the SGPC was approached to celebrate the occasion on January 5 as the sentiments of both the occasions differ.

Yet, the SGPC had released advertisements appealing people to celebrate the occasion on January 13.

SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal admitted that the Sikh community would be divided on the issue of Gurpurb dates. “To find a way out, the SGPC will approach Takht Jathedars. Personally, I feel that it should have been resolved as the issue lingered on for the past nine years,” he said.

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