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Controversial Amended Version Of Nanakshahi Calendar (2011) Set To Reign


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Amended version of Nanakshahi calendar set to reign

By Yudhvir Rana


Admin note: The 2003 Calendar was approved by sangats world-wide in 2003. And the 2003 Calendar was opposed from that time in 2003 by sectors sympathetic to the earlier calendar Vikram Sambat. SPN will continue to follow the 2003 version until further notice.

AMRITSAR: Barring areas under the influence of TakhtPatna Sahib, Bihar and Takht Sri Hazur Sahib, Nanded, Maharashtra, Sikhs across the nation will be observing their religious occasions as per the amended version of Nanakshahi calendar, after the exit of Sarnas from the management of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC).

"It is not just the victory of SAD (B) in DSGMC elections, but it is also a defeat of those who had dared to challenge the supreme authority of Akal Takht," SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar told TOI on Thursday.

He said it was natural that the amended version of Nanakshahi calendar would be implemented by the new management of DSGMC.

Authored by Canadian Sikh scholar Pal Singh Purewal, the Sikh's own calendar, known as Nanakshahi calendar, was adopted in 2003 with an aim to fix dates of Gurpurabs and other Sikh religious festivals which otherwise used to waver according to traditional Bikrami calendar.

But the controversies over the calendar never settled and continued to seek regular intervention of Akal Takht due to disagreement on certain dates not only among common Sikhs but also among the heads of Takhts, especially Takht Hazur Sahib and Takht Patna Sahib, who have their own local traditional practices and didn't prefer to implement the Nanakshahi calendar in their region.

In January, 2010, Akal Takht had approved the amendments to NC giving its stamp to observe certain Parkash and Jyoti Jyot Purabs of gurus in traditional Bikrami calendar as they used to be observed before 2003.

The two-member committee had decided that the birth and martyrdom day of Guru Gobind Singh, death anniversary of Guru Arjan Dev, coronation (Gurta Gaddi Diwas) of Guru Granth Sahib and "Sangrand" (beginning of every month) would be observed as per the traditional (Bikrami) calendar. The DSGMC had refused to accept the amendments and decided to continue to observe religious days as per Nanakshahi calendar adopted in 2003.

In 2011, the executive body of DSGMC had adopted a resolution and issued an appeal to Sikhs across the world to adhere to the Nanakshahi calendar adopted by Akal Takht in 2003 and not its amended version. The DSGMC had termed the amendments as "unconstitutional and unscientific."

Tejwant Singh

Jun 30, 2004
Henderson, NV.
My personal view:

I have been not in favour of the Nanakshahi calendar from the very beginning. If Guru Nanak wanted to start a different calendar, then he would have done so or any of our Nanaks would have started that, the way Guru Angad created the Gurmukhi fonts.

The reason according to my thought process is that our Gurus were against any celebrations of their birthdays-Gurpurabs,or of any other ceremonies/festivals, like the days of their passing etc etc. Other examples are-New moon (Masya), Full moon (Pooran Mashi), Sangrand (New month) according to the Indian solar calendar are not be celebrated as we do.

Baramahs- 12 solar months penned by Guru Nanak and Guru Arjan in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, our only Guru, talk about the seasons and the changes of the landscapes with each month, along with the changes in our moods in accordance with our body clock to the solar clock. It is the true poetry in motion.

They have to be studied and contemplated upon as often as possible rather than parroted in the beginning of each solar month; because they give the real insights of the human psyche and physiology and its bond to the changes in relation to the nature. It is also in depth psychoanalysis of the self long before the existence of this term.

We celebrate Vaisakhi – the birth of Khalsa- on April 13th every year. Keeping the same in mind, we can create the calendar where the dates of the respective Gurpurabs and other festivities can be uniformly decided, so they can be celebrated on the same day every year although they have nothing to do with Sikhi; but as we all know that old habits die hard or remain immortal.

Only the true Sikhi mindset can bring the metamorphosis from the within in a collective manner, which hopefully one day may occur, provided we persevere.

Tejwant Singh
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