| Statement | Malaysia | 13 April 2017 | Asia Samachar |
Malaysian Gurdwara Council (MGC) letter dated 13 April 2017 to all gurdwaras in Malaysia.
The Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Academy (Academy) has issued letter dated 12-04-2017 to all Gurdwaras and Sikh Societies, where they are making following allegations, amongst others :
- That owing to MGC, the Sikhs in Malaysia are celebrating Vaisakhi on 2 different days, i.e. on 13/4/2017 and 14/4/2017.
- Only in Malaysia there is confusion about Vaisakhi date and division.
HISTORICAL FACTS about NANAKSHAHI & BIKRAMI Calendar:
- After deliberation for a few years, the Panthic organisations, including from all over the world and led by Akal Takht and SGPC, adopted in 2003 a uniform calendar for Panth based on Nanakshahi dates. The dates for Nanakshahi calendar were then plotted for 20 years and the calendars distributed worldwide.
- The features of Nanakshahi calendar are
i) it is tropical solar calendar
ii) it is called Nanakshahi after Guru Nanak’s birth (1469CE)
iii) it uses most of the mechanics of the western calendar
iv) it starts from “Chet” month each year
v) the leap year is every 4 years
vi) the year length is same as western calendar (i.e. 365 days 5 hours 48 minutes and 45 seconds)
vii) the Nanakshahi calendar was approved in 2003 by whole Panth including Akal Takht.
This Nanakshahi calendar had world-wide support as the Gurpurb’s had quite consistent dates and made for easy planning.
- However, in 2011, the Akal Takht went back on the agreement of 2003 to use Nanakshahi calendar. This then caused a lot of confusion around the world and even in Malaysia. In 2012 & 2013, the MGC followed Akal Takht dates as far as were known by October of the year preceding, but KDM and SNSM followed 2003 dates.
The Akal Takht only publishes its yearly calendar towards end of March, each year. Thus for 2017, the Akal Takht calendar only appeared at end of March, 2017.
- At the MGC AGM in 2012 and 2013, there were a lot of complaints from Gurdwaras about different dates being followed by MGC, KDM & SNSM. A decision was taken by the AGM for MGC to liaise with KDM and SNSM and to come up with common dates for the country.
- The MGC in 2014 held a meeting with KDM and SNSM and worked out common dates based on the Nanakshahi calendar, the decision taken by Akal Takht, etc in 2003. Since 2014, the MGC, KDM and SNSM have been meeting every year and coming up with common calendar for Malaysia. The last meeting was on 2/10/2016, where dates for 2017 were agreed. To be borne in mind, in October 2016, the Akal Takht/SGPC calendar was not out for 2017.
- POSITION TODAY. The whole world, excluding the Takhts and some Gurdwaras in Punjab are using Nanakshahi calendar. The majority of the Delhi Gurdwaras are using Nanakshahi calendar. Therefore, there is only confusion in Punjab but not in other parts of world.
Even, the world renowned GOOGLE says Vaisakhi is on 14-04-2017. This is because GOOGLE is aware that whole Sikh world outside Punjab is celebrating it on 14-04-2017.
[Note: Akal Takht Jathedar Gurbachan Singh had admitted in a press conference last year that the decisions taken regarding Nanakshahi calendar and Baba Ram Rahim were made because of political pressure]
In Malaysia, MGC, KDM, SNSM and including Malaya Samachar and other smaller societies all have adopted the common calendar as decided by MGC, KDM and SNSM. Thus there is absolute unity and no confusion in Malaysia.
Only, about 3 to 4 Gurpurbs have different dates between Nanakshahi calendar and Bikrami calendar.
MGC had written about 4 years ago to Akal Takht to issue their calendar a year in advance, but until today there is no reply.
- About the Academy
Thus, the Academy’s allegation that there is confusion in Malaysia is misleading. In fact they have made an unholy attempt to divide the Sanggat and chosen the Holy Vaisakhi Panth Sajna Diwas, to launch their ill-conceived attack.
The MGC calendar is exactly similar to KDM, SNSM, Malaya Samachar and the other world countries. This also has backing of all Gurdwaras in Malaysia as it was as a result of MGC AGM decision to have a common calendar and follow Nanakshahi calendar.
The Academy must act responsibly. We know Academy is a trust with the 3 persons who signed the letter as trustees. There are no elections and no members. The trustees are for life. Thus, it suffers from lack of transparency and democratic principles.
Recently video clips have gone viral with Academy trustees seen together with Baba Pipli wale at his mansion in Bangkok. Lately many video clips have emerged showing
i) celebration of Baba Pipli Wale’s birthday before SGGS Ji with some members dancing and cake cutting
ii) showing persons Matha tek to Baba Ji
iii) showing some persons washing Baba Ji’s feet, etc
What is Academy doing with such a Baba. The recent video exposes that went viral under headings were i) who is behind Academy ii) SGGSA Hall of shame – deviants endanger peace.
The Sanggat should listen to them and draw their own conclusion.
The Academy is therefore advised to put its own house in order and to make thorough checks before making unfounded allegations and must act responsibly. From the above facts it is clear that the MGC had acted responsibly in the matter and taken decisions in consultation with other Sikh Societies in the interest of the Malaysian Sikhs.
Jagir Singh, President MGC
[THE STATEMENT WAS RECEIVED VIA EMAIL AND CONFIRMED BY THE SENDER]
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