by a Sikh sangat member

After looking at the timeline of events and the evolution of the first and original Sikh (Nanakshahi) Calendar, it is clear that the detracting forces are partly responsible for trying to alter and erase Sikh history. Sikh’s have been marginalized from the very inception of Sikhi. Unless we take the initiative to learn and stand up for our robust history, we are also responsible for the degradation of the rich Sikh heritage, culture and values.

Mool – the prefix means “original”

This is an infographic on facts vs. detractors of Sikh heritage.  In 1998 SGPC, Dharam Prachar Committee approved the original (mool) Nanakshahi Calendar.

In 1995, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) decided to implement the new Reformed Nanakshahi Calendar from 1999 CE. The changes were recommended by the Calendar Reform Committee under the aegis of The Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh.

In 1998, per the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) General House Resolution, SGPC released a calendar that was “scientific, correct and based on Gurbani” and factual dates from the Sikh History. It was highly acclaimed and the entire Sikh Panth was asked to follow this calendar. That was released on the 300th year of Khalsa’s Creation in 1999.

At first glance, one may not know the difference between the “current” Nanakshahi and the Mool Nanakshahi Calendar (original). A deeper understanding of the history and efforts made by Sikh scholars, experts, authors, and historians to create a distinct Gurbani based Sikh calendar is vital.

Evolution

Pal Singh Purewal, who had been working towards the Sikh calendar since the 1960s, introduced the Nanakshahi Calendar which was adopted in part by the SGPC and the Akal Thakt. See the evolution of the Nanakshahi and the Mool Nanakshahi Calendar.  A committee, under the aegis of the Institute of Sikh Studies Chandigarh, was formed to study this problem. This committee held meetings at Chandigarh and formulated proposals. These were formally accepted, in principle, in a larger meeting in which about 40 eminent scholars, from universities and other institutions, participated. The main proposals given below were submitted to the S.G.P.C.

The need for the Sikhs to have their own calendar and a proposal for such a calendar was sent to the then acting Jathedar Sahib Akal Takht Sahib in 1994 CE.  In the Nanakshahi Jantri, the proceedings of all the meetings could not be given because of constraints on space. All relevant information had been published in some issues of the Abstracts of Sikh Studies published by the Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh.   The SGPC passed a General House Resolution and asked the entire Sikh Panth was to follow this calendar which was released on the 300th year of Khalsa’s Creation in 1999 by the SGPC.

Although some of the dates were largely adopted as fixed dates, in 2003, some due to some political stated reasons as in the timeline below were dismissed.[1] There are notable differences between the “current and altered” Nanakshahi Calendar and the unaltered Mool Nanakshahi Calendar . Understanding the motivation and decades of research to reflect the accuracy of historical events is essential to retain the distinct identity of Sikhi.[2] The critical link between Gurbani and Nanakshahi Calendar sheds light on the background and gives perspective.

It is questionable that the current “Nanakshahi” calendar can even be called Nanakshahi anymore, since in 2003, three Sikh events, based on the Indian Holiday system were changed back from Nanaksahi dates to Bikrami to conform to the political pressures or Rashtryia Swayamsevak Sang (RSS) or the like. In 2004, the Akal Takht issued a hukamnama declaring RSS an anti-Sikh organization.[Sikh Siyasat , Sant Sipahi Maganzine] . So naturally, it’s logical to then also ask if we are going to then also conform to December 25th as Gurpurb because Christmas happens to be the majority holiday in the West? Or should Vaisakhi parallel Easter (a Christian holiday)? The Mool Nanakshahi Calendar is the original calendar of 1995 which was submitted by the Institute of Sikh studies to the SGPC in 1996.

lllAnother notable constant on the Moon Nanakshahi Calendar is Guru Nanak Sahib’s birth date. Though traditionally some celebrate it in October/November. According to the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Guru Nanak Sahib was born on 15th April, 1469 at Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi in the present district of Shekhupura, now Nanakana Sahib in current-day Pakistan.

The Mool Nanakshahi Calendar continues to gather support[3] across the world as Sikhs yearn to follow fixed dates which are an accurate historical representation of the Sikh History and an attempt at adding integrity to the Sikh identity. [4][5][6]This provides the platform for Sikhs to agree on a common calendar.[7][8]Sardar Pal Singh Purewal, the main architect of the calendar, has written scholarly articles on this issue after reasearching[9] and explains the Gurbani and fact based evidental differences between the Mool Nanakshahi Calendar and Bikrami Calendars.[10][11] There is a difference between the Nanakshahi Calendar and the Mool Nanakshahi Calendar as such as the Mool Nanakshahi Calendar fixes dates which were movable in the partially adopted. [12]

In November 2017, the extensive 2 day Mool Nanakshahi Calendar Implementation Conference in Chicago detailed the significance of the changes. Several scholars and topics on this topic lead the presentations and discussions.[14][15][16] In March 2020, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabadhak Committee released the Mool Nanakshahi Calendar as well.[17]Also, the majority of the Gurdwaras in Jammu and Kashmir decided to follow the MN Calendar.

In 2018, The Akal Takhat Jathedar, Giani Gurbachan Singh asked that the Sikhs should unite and adopt the new Nanakshahi Calendar and that the “majority of Sikh sects, including Nihangs, Nirmalays, Udhasis and Damdami Taksal, observe and want to observe Sikh religious days according to the (amended) Nanakshahi calendar.”[3]. The Sikh communities around the world are embracing the Mool Nanakshahi calendar.

In March 2020, per Tribune India, “In a separate event, the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) also released the Nanakshahi calendar. Prepared by India-based Sikh organisation Dal Khalsa, this calendar in its “mool” (original) form was dedicated to Kartarpur corridor. It has a picture of Darbar Sahib in the background along with the picture of Pakistan PM Imran Khan taken during its foundation-laying ceremony. — TNS

References and Additional Reading

[1],[2]

This is a simple, rational perspective on Mool Nanakshahi (NS) Calendar written by an average (non-scholarly consumer) Sangat member – As on Wikipedia. The contesting distractors/individuals, who wish to contest the page on “Wikipedia” to prevent information dissemination, will continue with vandalism efforts. Upon request of the contributors, parts of the topic are copied here in order to preserve the effort.

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