An important meeting has been convened at the Akal Takht on Saturday to provide greater clarity to Sikh devotees over the dates of both Guru Gobind Singh ji’s Prakash utsav and the day of sacrifice of his brave Sahibzadas. As of now the dates of these two very significant events which have extremely important religious dimensions are virtually clashing thereby furnishing very little time to observe them as per the tradition and practice. Several important Sikh leaders have urged the Akal Takht Jathedar, Harpreet Singh to fix the dates in such a manner that the observance is done as to allow the devotees to express their gratitude to the young Sikh icons and the tenth Guru. Although the Sikh Jathedars are likely to discuss the issue at length and arrive at an amicable solution, it is simultaneously being pointed out that the Akal Takht Jathedar was within his rights to declare the dates on his own accord since his word had overriding powers. The 50-year-old Jathedar Harpreet Singh is considered close to the Shiromani Akali Dal Chief, Sukhbir Singh Badal, and his assertion would certainly give a boost to the Akali leader who during the recent elections of the Sikh Gurdwara Prabandak Committee was able to get his nominee, Harjinder Singh Dhami re-elected as the president, defeating three times past president, Bibi Jagir Kaur. The entire Sikh community, both in India and abroad have been seeking directions from the Akal Takht on how to resolve the matter of the clash of dates. Therefore, once Jathedar Harpreet Singh gives his opinion, it shall be binding on everyone else and would help Sukhbir to consolidate his position amongst the Panthic followers. Former Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Prabandak Committee president, Paramjit Singh Sarna has said that even though the top Sikh religious leadership was meeting, the Akal Takht Chief was the one who should take the lead. In the past on crucial Sikh issues, the Akal Takht Jathedar has given his directions to the Sikhs. In 1978 when the Sikh-Nirankari clashes took place, a Humamnama prepared by Mr Kapoor Singh, former ICS was considered and issued by the then then Akal Takht Chief, Sadhu Singh Bhura. In 2007 when the matter regarding Guru Nanak Dev’s Prakash Utsav cropped up, the Akal Takht Boss, Giani Gurbachan Singh gave his verdict. Therefore, once Jathedar Harpreet Singh conveys to the Sikhs, and permanently fixes some dates, they shall be honoured totally. Such a clash of dates could occur again in coming years and fixing the dates would help the devotees to observe their religious practices in the traditional manner. Sikh politics is very complex and another issue that is being discussed amongst the leaders of the community is that why has the Centre or the State governments in Delhi and Punjab, not taken any decision regarding ten prisoners who have been languishing in jails for nearly 30 years despite having completed their sentences. If the Killers of Rajiv Gandhi could be freed, why is the attitude discriminatory against these ten men, it is being asked. The ten convicts who include Devendra Pal Singh Bhullar, were charged with murder and various other serious offences which in some cases pertained to sedition and treason. Paramjit Singh Sarna has already made a public announcement that the Sikhs of Delhi would support any party that shall facilitate the release of these ten men. However, Saturday’s decision of the Akal Takht is eagerly awaited to prevent the clash of dates of the celebrations now as also in future.
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