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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Chhote Saahibzaade: After PM’s announcement, SAD, SGPC object to ‘Veer Baal Diwas’ renaming

SAD, which is the former ally of BJP, has said that though they appreciate the move to honor the sacrifice of two young Sikh martyrs, the name 'Veer Baal Diwas' is not appropriate and should be finalized only after consulting experts from SGPC.

Written by Divya Goyal , Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Amritsar, Ludhiana |
Updated: January 10, 2022 10:10:49 pm
Nihang Singhs take part in fateh march to pay homage to Chhote Saahibzade Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh at Fatehgarh Sahib. Express File

Even as it was a pending demand of the Sikh community to observe the martyrdom day of Chhote Saahibzaade (December 26) — the two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh as a special day, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and a member of SGPC has objected to the day being declared as ‘Veer Baal Diwas’ by PM Narendra Modi.

SAD, which is the former ally of BJP, has said that though they appreciate the move to honor the sacrifice of two young Sikh martyrs, the name ‘Veer Baal Diwas’ is not appropriate and should be finalized only after consulting experts from SGPC.

SAD spokesperson Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said, “We appreciate PM’s move to honor sacrifice of Chhote Saahibzaade but the name of the day should be decided after consultation with the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to do justice with the history behind this unparalleled sacrifice in Sikhism. The Sikh religious literature and gurbani should be consulted to name this day.”

Zorawar Singh (9) and Fateh Singh (7) were bricked alive on the orders of Mughal faujdar Wazir Khan of Sirhind after they had refused to convert to Islam and had instead chosen death. SGPC member Kiranjot Kaur tweeted, ‘ I strongly oppose naming Shaheedi Diwas of Sahibzade Veer Bal Diwas. Babas are being reduced to children. Govt has no business reinterpreting our beliefs in a reductionist way.’

Paramvir Singh, professor, department of encyclopedia of Sikhism, Punjabi University, Patiala, said that even though Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh were aged 9 and 7 respectively at the time of their martyrdom, they are referred to as ‘Baba Zorawar Singh’ and ‘Baba Fateh Singh’ because according to Sikh faith, they were not merely ‘children’. “Their actions and wisdom were beyond their age and hence they are referred to as ‘Babas’, not children. We consider them our revered elders who made supreme sacrifice for Sikh faith so limiting them to the word ‘Baal’ might be objectionable,” he said.

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