There will be no spectacular show of lighting and fireworks this Diwali at the Golden Temple as the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has decided not to celebrate the festival in the wake of series of incidents of alleged desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib.
After ‘Black Diwali’ of 1984, this will be third time when there will be no celebrations at the Golden Temple. Diwali coincides with Sikh festival of Bandi Chhor Divas (Prisoners’ Release Day or Day of Liberation) which attracts large number of devotees.
In 1984, ‘Black Diwali’ was observed in protest against Operation Bluestar. The festival was also not celebrated at the Golden Temple in 1992, the year in which Harjinder Singh Jinda and Sukhdev Singh Sukha, the assassins of Gen A S Vaidya, were hanged.
SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar on Monday said that in the wake of a series of incidents of alleged desecration of the holy book in Punjab, the SGPC has decided not to celebrate Diwali at the Golden Temple. The SGPC decision comes a day after representatives of panthic organisations, during a bhog ceremony of two protesters killed in police firing, asked the Sikh community to observe ‘Black Diwali’ over the incidents of alleged desecration.
Bandi Chhor Divas is a Sikh festival where Sikhs celebrate the release of Guru Hargobind Singh, the sixth Sikh guru, from Gwalior fort on the orders of Mughal emperor Jehangir.
In Sikh history, after Baisakhi, which marks the establishment of Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh, Bandi Chhor Divas is considered the second most important day in planning of the Sikh freedom from the Mughal empire. A spectacular show of fireworks and lighting is arranged every year by the SGPC to mark the occasion.
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