Confusion over the Nanakshahi calendar has its bearing over the parkash purab celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh, which falls twice this year.
While several Sikh organisations who support the original Nanakshahi calendar have announced to celebrate the occasion on January 5, the SGPC and its affiliated institutions which follow the amended Nanakshahi calendar (christened as Nanakshahi Samat 547) will celebrate it on January 16.
The Union and state governments have also declared January 16 as a gazetted holiday. The original calendar, which was implemented in 2003, is based on solar charts.
Certain amendments were made to it in 2010 on the basis of lunar charts on the insistence of the Sant Samaj. To eradicate confusion in dates, another amendment was made to it and a new version Nanakshai Samat 547 was introduced on March 14, 2015. But this amendment too led to confusion over important dates.
The birth anniversary of Guru Ram Das, which used to be celebrated on October 9 every year as per the amended calendar, was scheduled for October 29 in 2015. Similarly, the death anniversary of Guru Amar Das fell on September 28 in 2015, instead of September 16 the previous years.
Panthic Talmel Sangathan convener and former Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib Giani Kewal Singh supports the original calendar. He has appealed to the Sikh masses to celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh on January 5.
He said: “Every year, Gurpurb dates create confusion. The Sikh masses thus fail to remember the day correctly. I believe that some anti-Panthic forces intend to damage the spirit of Sikhism.”
Various Sikh organisations such as gurdwara panels of Pakistan and the US will observe the Gurpurb as prescribed by the original Nanakshahi calendar.
Former SGPC member and chief of Akal Purakh Ki Fauj Jaswinder Singh Advocate said many Sikh bodies have joined hands and would observe the day on January 5.