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Punjab CM calls up Akal Takht Jathedar, Channi & Randhawa meet him with detailed proposal for main event

October 15, 2019 08:07 PM

CHANDIGARH: Taking a major initiative to break the deadlock over the main events to celebrate the 550th Prakash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, the Captain Amarinder Singh led government on Tuesday offered to hold the Sultanpur Lodhi functions on Niv 11/12 under the patronage of the Akal Takht, with the support of the SGPC.

The Chief Minister spoke to the Akal Takht Jathedar, Giani Harpreet Singh, on phone while his cabinet colleagues Charanjit Singh Channi and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa met him to convey the state government’s proposal.

The ministers later said that they had, on behalf of the Chief Minister, urged the Jathedar to direct the Sikh Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) to support the official events and not waste Rs 12-15 crore of the Sangat’s money on setting up a separate stage, especially when the state government had already developed the necessary infrastructure for the key programmes. This money could be more usefully employed in `dharam prachar’, which was one of the prime objectives of the SGPC, said the ministers, adding that two separate events from two stages would also confuse the pilgrims.

As per the proposal, no political speeches would be allowed at the main function, during which only the Jathedars of the five Takhts, the Head Granthi of Darbar Sahib, the Prime Minister (or any other senior representative of the Central Government), former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, the Chief Minister and SGPC president would be present on the stage.

The Akal Takht Jathedar said he will convene a meeting of all the five Jathedars next week to finalise the programme for the main functions, slated to be held on November 11-12 in Sultanpur Lodhi, where millions of devotees are expected to converge to pay their respects to the first Sikh Guru on the historic occasion.

The ministers told the Jathedar that the state government felt that, in keeping with the importance of the historic occasion and Guru Nanak’s philosophy of `Sanjhi Varta’ (Collective Voice), the Sikh community should stand together for the celebrations.

As a humble Sikh, Captain Amarinder had suggested all Sikhs to bow before the Akal Takht and come together under its aegis for the blessed event. No Sikh should have any problem in celebrating the 550th Prakash Purb under the Akal Takht, since it is the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs, he felt.

Further, the Chief Minister was of the opinion that the sacredness of the occasion demanded that there should be no appearance of division or confrontation among the Sikhs in Punjab for the lakhs of pilgrims coming to attend the events from across the world, according to Channi and Randhawa.

The state government had no issues with the SGPC conducting other related events separately, inside gurdwara premises, the ministers told the Jathedar.

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