Despite COVID curbs, Gurupurab celebrated with religious fervour, gaiety

Devotees paying obeisance at Gurudwara Yaadgar Guru Nanak Dev Ji at Chand Nagar, Jammu on the occasion of Gurupurab on Monday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Devotees paying obeisance at Gurudwara Yaadgar Guru Nanak Dev Ji at Chand Nagar, Jammu on the occasion of Gurupurab on Monday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Resentment over non-inclusion of Punjabi as official language

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Nov 30: Despite the COVID pandemic restrictions, the Prakash Purab of Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj, the founder of Sikh religion was celebrated with religious fevour and gaiety across J&K today.
In this connection, a grand function was organized by Gurdwara Yaadgar Guru Nanak Dev Ji , Chand Nagar Jammu where Sikh Sangat from different parts of Jammu participated in Shabad Kirtan and paid obeisance to holy Guru Granth Sahab and Guru Nanak Ji Maharaj. The function was also held in other Gurdwaras of Jammu region including Gurdwara Digaina Sahab, Gurdwara Nanak Nagar and Gurdwara Tali Sahab Pacca Grat, Talab Tillo.
The religious function at Gurdwara Sahib, Yadgar, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Chand Nagar was organised by district Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (DGPC), Jammu where despite COVID restrictions, a large number of devotees participated.

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However, the Sangat showed their dismay over the failure of J&K UT Government in not including the Punjabi language as the official language of J&K despite the repeated pleas by the Sikh community of the UT. For the first time this year, the State Gurdwara Parbandhak Board (SGPB) and State Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) under a strong protest did not submit the memorandum to Government pertaining to religious, political and social problems as well as genuine demands of the Sikh community of J&K alleging that the minority Sikh community of UT has met continuous neglect and discrimination.
Tarlochan Singh Wazir , chairman SGPB, while addressing the gathering threw light on the burning issues of the community and expressed his dismay over the continuous neglect and discrimination with minority Sikh community in every sphere of life.
He said the blatant exclusion of Punjabi language from J&K Official Languages Act , non inclusion of a Sikh member in Public Service Commission, non implementation of Anand Marg Act, depriving the Sikhs living in Kashmir in getting benefit under SRO -425, delay in erection of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Statue and ignoring other demands of the Sikhs has generated a strong resentment among the community particularly the youth.
Wazir, while expressing solidarity with agitating farmers and their demands urged the Central Government to hold negotiations with them. The demands projected by Wazir got endorsed by the Sangat and it was announced that in near future a joint delegation of Sikh organisations from J&K will meet Jathedar Sri Akal Takhat Sahib and new SGPC chief and apprise them about the discrimination to which Sikh community in J&K has been subjected to. The Sangat also said that they will appeal for uniformity and implementation of Nanak Shahi Calendar for entire Sikh community.
Wazir, however, complimented Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha for announcing Guru Nanak Chair in Jammu University and sanctioning funds for the same.
On the occasion, prominent Parcharaks and Ragi Jathas from Punjab and J&K delivered religious sermons and recited Gurbani Kirtan. Mahant Manjit Singh Ji chief of Dera Nangali Sahib and Sant Tejwant Singh Ji , chief of Dera Santpura Danna delivered religious sermons and threw light on the teachings of Guru Nanak Sahib.
Giani Jagtra Singh Ji Kiratpuri, head priest Takhat Sri Damdama Sahib was the main preacher on the occasion who threw light on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and called upon every one to follow the path of equality, eternal love, peace, universal brotherhood and spiritual blessings. Raagi Jathas of Bhai Satnam Singh Ji and Bhai Jagtar Singh Ji, Jammu Wale, both Hazuri Raagis of Darbar Sahib Amritsar and local DGPC Raagi Jathas of Bhai Harpreet Singh Chohalvi, Bhai Gian Singh , Bhai Ranjit Singh , Bhai Harbans Singh , Bhai Tarvinder Singh, Bibi Davinder Kour also recited Gurbani Kirtan and Bhai Harpinder Singh incharge Sikh Mission J&K Chapter of SGPC Amritsar also spoke on the life and teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Fateh Singh, general secretary DGPC, Jammu conducted the stage and Jagjit Singh president DGPC Jammu presented the vote of thanks. Other prominent Sikh leaders and DGPC members present included Jathedar Mohinder Singh, Ramnik Singh, Kuldeep Singh, Avtar Singh Khalsa, Manmohan Singh, Darbinder Singh, Mohinder Singh, Harjinder Singh, Raja Singh (all DGPC members), Narinder Singh Khalsa, Surjeet Singh, Gurdev Singh, Balwant Singh, Jatinder Singh, Ravinder Singh, Surinder Singh Wazir , Ranjit Singh etc.
Our Srinagar Correspondent adds that Gurupurab-was today celebrated across Kashmir with religious fervour, with people belonging to the Sikh community thronging to their respective Gurdwaras.
In Srinagar, the major gathering was held at the Gurdwara Shaheed Bungha, Barzulla Baghat where hundreds of Sikh devotees assembled and offered special prayers on the day.
Guru Nanak was born on Puranmashi in 1469 in Talwandi in the present Shekhupura district of Pakistan, now Nankana Sahib.
Narendra Singh of Sikh Missionary College who was present on the occasion said that the Gurunanak Dev Ji has taught the best lesson to humanity and has taught them to believe in one God.
“He taught humanity to believe in one God. He said that He is being known by different names, but He is one. He taught us all the names of God belong to one entity. He taught against having differences in the religions. He impressed that one should not fight over religion, rather should try harder to make their actions perfect,” he added.
He said that it is a sacred day for the Sikhs who celebrate the birth of the first Guru of the Sikhism who was born in Nankana Sahib. “He has given the world one of the best lessons. His teachings are recorded in the Guru Granth Sahib,” he said.