March 20, 2009 1:55:56 am
After radicals,now the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee has put efforts in top gear to observe the anniversary of Operation Bluestar.
The SGPC today released Nanakshahi calendar,which,for the first time,carries a picture of the demolished Akal Takht. The calendar was released by SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar in the presence of Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh at Guru Nanak Niwas. The number of calendars being published this time is much higher than last year.
Makkar’s detractors are of the view that the picture is aimed at inviting the attention of votes of radicals in the parliamentary polls. Former SGPC secretary Manjit Singh Calcutta said though he was not against using the picture,as it’s part of the Sikh history,the timing of the release raises doubts. “It is election time and the SGPC has taken directions from Badal to rake up the issue. We all know that the SGPC has announced a memorial for Bluestar martyrs,but has done nothing on ground,” said Calcutta. Notably,the Khalsa Action Committee and the Dal Khalsa have already started their series of seminars and functions to observe the 25th anniversary.
“The SGPC is following us,” said Dal Khalsa general secretary Kanwarpal Singh. “Now that various Sikh bodies have chalked out their programmes,SGPC has woken up,but with the political motives,” said KAC Convener Mokham Singh.
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Damdami Taksal head Harnam Singh Khalsa had already made an appeal to the SGPC,Nihang organisations,political parties and Sikh bodies to forget differences and come together for anniversary.
Makkar,meanwhile,said the SGPC has always observed the anniversary in a big way. “This year is special,as it’s the 25th anniversary. So,the picture is significant,” he said,while appealing to all the Sikhs to follow the calendar and celebrate all occasions as per it. “The community should celebrate New Year as per Nanakshahi Calendar on March 14, he added.
Meanwhile,DCC (Rural) head SRS Lally Majithia said they would lodge a complaint with the EC against the SGPC for releasing calendar with picture of demolished Akal Takht. He said this was an attempt by the Akalis-controlled SGPC to woo radical Sikhs.
Gurdwaras to help uprooted Swat families
SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said about 300 Sikh and Hindu families,who have been uprooted in Swat and other areas of Pakistan,have taken shelter in various gurdwaras in neighbouring country. “I appeal to the Pakistan government to protect them. They are taking shelter at Panja Sahib and Nankana Sahib gurdwaras,” said Makkar.
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