AMRITSAR: The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the apex gurdwara body, on Sunday raised an objection over the term ‘Baal Veer Diwas’ given to 10th Sikh Master Guru Gobind Singh’s Chhote Sahibzade (younger sons) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Reacting to the move, SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami said: “Their martyrdom day cannot be called ‘Baal Veer Diwas’ as it is not according to the Gurmat (Sikh principles). Sahibzades have a tall stature in the Sikh religion. This term is not appropriate for martyrs. The PM may have taken this decision in haste, without consulting the Sikhs.”

“We give respect to the sentiments of the Prime Minister but limiting the martyrdom of Chhote Sahibzade to ‘Baal Veer Diwas’ by adding the term ‘Baal’ does not match with the feeling of the martyrdom and Sikh traditions,” he said while speaking over phone.

“Sacrifice of the Sahibzade of the 10th Guru is as big as that of the big warriors keeping in view of the Sikh history, principles and traditions. In the Sikh history, Sahibzade are called ‘Babas’ to give them due respect,” he said.

“As Sikh traditions, beliefs and concerns are unique in nature, any decision in relation to them should be taken under the guidance of the Akal Takht. The decision may have come from the intention of giving respect to Guru sahib, but it cannot be considered as one recognised by the Panth”, he said, adding, “We will write to the PM in this regard”.

Meanwhile, radical Sikh body Dal Khalsa said the state has no right to meddle in religious affairs of Sikhs. “Arbitrary decision by the PMO is going to set a wrong precedent,” reads a statement issued by radical Sikh body Dal Khalsa.

Sikh history should be depicted in perspective: Jathedar

Endorsing the SGPC stand, Akal Takht acting jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh said: “The move deserves to be hailed but name is wrong, as it does not represent the Sikh sentiments.”

Addressing devotees during the celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh’s birth anniversary at Takht Patna Sahib on Sunday evening, he said: “We want the entire world to be taught the great history of Sahibzadas’ supreme sacrifice, but it should be as per Sikh sentiments.”

“The Sikh organisations are there to co-operate with the government in taking the decisions concerning the Sikhs. So, the government should have consulted with them first. The Sikh history should be depicted in Sikh perspective,” he added.

Damdami Taksal hails move

However, some Sikh organisations have hailed the PM’s move. “The PM’s announcement is commendable and is a big effort to make the world aware of the unparalleled martyrdom of the 10th Guru and his sons,” Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa, chief of Damdami Taksal, a Sikh seminary. Akal Purakh Ki Fauj chief and former SGPC member Advocate Jaswinder Singh said: “Irrespective of the nomenclature, it is an opportunity for the Sikhs. Now, it is up to the Sikhs how they grab this opportunity.”

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