THE AKAL Takht has asked Sikhs to celebrate this Baisakhi by staying homes and praying for world peace amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Baisakhi, observed on April 13, is usually celebrated with much fervour in Punjab because it marks the start of harvesting season and this year, it is also the 321st Foundation Day of the Khalsa. It is celebrated in all gurdwaras. Big gatherings are called at Takht Damdma Sahib Talwandi Sabo and Anandpur Sahib.
However, this year the Akal Takht has asked Sikhs to defer all religious congregations.
“Like every year, the Sikh community was excited to celebrate the Foundation Day of Khalsa on coming Baisakhi. But right now the whole world is in the grip of coronavirus. According to World Health Organisation, this virus spread from one person to another at a very high rate. Also there is a lockdown in many countries of the world, making it impossible to call big gathering,” read the statement issued by the five Sikh Takht jathedars on Friday.
A meeting of the five Sikh jathedars was called via video conferencing. After the meeting, Akal Takh Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh issued the order.
“Like every year, Akhand Path or Sehaj Path bhog should be performed at gurdwaras on the occasion of Baisakhi to pray for world peace. On this festival, every Sikh should stay at home and perform Sehaj Path and pray for the world…By sitting back at their homes, Sikhs should connect with the historical gurdwaras on this day via live streaming on TV channels and social media and listen to Gurbani and Kirtan. No big gathering and religious congregation should be organised at gurdwaras till next orders.”
The recent terror attack in Kabul was also discussed at the meeting. “In the recent brutal attack in Afghanistan, 23 Sikhs were killed. We will remember this genocide just like the 1984 genocide. All Sikhs should make efforts to extend all kinds of help to Afghan Sikhs. Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee is asked to consult the experts and make a plan for proper maintenance of gurdwaras in Afghanistan. The plan should be submitted to Akal Takht,” said the statement.
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