Since he opened front for the implementation of Nanakshahi calendar, problems for the Takht Damdama Sahib Jathedar Balwant Singh Nandgarh are mounting with each passing day.
Now a number of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) members from Punjab and Haryana on Thursday passed a resolution against him and sought the SGPC president initiate process of his removal from the position. The SGPC members also reiterated their demand that Nandgarh should be summoned to Sri Akal Takht Sahib, the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs.
Takht Damdama Sahib Jathedar Balwant Singh Nandgarh is in the line of fire since he stood up against the Bikarmi Calendar, which is followed by all, including the SGPC. Terming the Bikrami Calendar to be of Hindus, Nandgarh wants Sikhs to implement Nanakshahi calendar with a claim that only this could ensure Sikhs have their separate identity across the world.
Interestingly, in the recent past while pursuing his case Nandgarh also didn’t mind uttering against the SAD-ruled Punjab Government, SGPC and Akal Takht Jathedar. In a recent instance, having his reservations Nandgarh avoided participating in the Nagar Kirtan (religious procession) which was held from Takht Damdama Sahib on December 27 to mark the next day as Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s birth anniversary (Parkash Utsav). In his opinion, the day was not correct according to the historical incidents and he also objected to the celebrations scheduled for December 28.
Justifying his claim, Nandgarh said that at one hand the SGPC and whole Sikh community was observing the martyrdom day of two younger children of Guru Gobind Singh on the same day at Fatehgarh Sahib and on the other, they were all set to celebrate it as Guru Gobind Singh’s birth anniversary. While claiming that it would all in conflict with the gurbani and Sikh history, an emotional Nandgarh went on saying, “Some greedy and selfish people have been consistently misleading the innocent Sikh Sangat in respect of Nanakshahi Calendar just for the vested interests.”
“Cults in Punjab are the gift of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) whose members opposed the termination of article 25 (2) (b) of constitution which states that Sikhs are part of the Hindu religion. And I am 100 per cent confident that the whole controversy is being created just to please the RSS leaders, who are now in power in the country,” he had said.
“It’s very painful for me to say but the SGPC is now following the path directed by some politicians who can’t afford annoying RSS and in the whole scene our respected Jathedar Sri Akal Takht Sahib also failed to understand the issue which I have been raising loud and clear, just for the identity of Sikhs,” rued Nandgarh.
His statement appeared in a section of media, including Daily Post, created turbulence as all SGPC members of Bathinda and Mansa districts, who had participated in the Nagar Kirtan, opened a front against him.
They took his statement as a clear case of disrespect towards the Akal Takht as the Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh had appealed to the masses to celebrate the day on December 28. They also challenged Nandgarh to term the whole activity being done on the direction of the RSS. In an immediate reaction, the next morning they had sought his summoning at Akal Takht for his uttering but now toughening their stand, they including some from neighbouring state Haryana have sought his resignation.
Those signed resolution included Mohan Singh Bangi, Darshan Singh Bahia, Mithu Singh Kahanke, Jagjit Singh Khalsa, Jaspal Kaur, Major Singh Dhillon, Capt Avtar Singh, Surjit Singh Raipur and Gurtej Singh Dhadde. Besides, Baba Sukhchain Singh Dharampura, Baba Buta Singh Gurthadi and Gurpreet Singh Jhabbar sent their written consent with them as theyw ere out of station.
On the other hand, a number of Sikh organisations, backing Nandgarh, on Thursday appeared at the Akal Takht Sahib in Amritsar and sought the Jathedar to implement it for the sake of Sikh community.
Meanwhile, unfazed over the development, Nandgarh said, “Whether I remain in the chair or the authorities replace me with any one, I will not relent. My stand is clear and it’s is for the sake of all Sikhs.”