Amritsar, October 1, 2023: The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) today celebrated the 150th foundation day of Sri Guru Singh Sabha Movement by organising a grand Gurmat Samagam (religious congregation) at Gurdwara Sri Manji Sahib Diwan Hall in Amritsar.
On the occasion of this centenary event, a large number of prominent personalities of the Sikh community were present, who asked to uphold the unity to tackle the current challenges facing the Sikh community in the light of the history and contribution of the Singh Sabha movement. During their address, the speakers also emphasized on the need to carry forward a massive Dharam Prachar (religious preaching) movement.
Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib Giani Raghbir Singh while addressing said that the Singh Sabha Movement started 150 years ago had given a conscious knock within the Sikh community against the challenges of the time, the influence of which was accepted by every Sikh. He said that even today many challenges are facing the community, which will have to be tackled by taking guidance from history.
Giani Raghbir Singh said that like the current situation, the illusionistic web of Christianity is being spread in the name of religious preaching. Many complaints are being received at Sri Akal Takht Sahib about lands being given on contract in greed of more money to open preaching centers of Christianity.
He said that the zimidars (landlords) should be aware and stop this phenomenon, so that activities against Sikh culture do not spread in Punjab. In order to combat such a situation, every Sikh along with the Sikh organizations will have to live in society as preachers and fulfil their responsibility.
SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami, shared his views and said that the pioneers of the Singh Sabha Movement guarded the Sikh faiths and principles and made the Sikhs aware of their duty towards community. He said that these pages of Sikh history are a source of inspiration for the community.
Only firmness towards the beliefs of faith can get us out of the challenges to community. An example of this is the history of the Singh Sabha Movement. He said that Sikh faith has always faced challenges. Since the time of the Gurus, the humanist principles of Sikh faith have been shaking the ruling governments. That is why tactics to weaken the community continued time and again.
Harjinder Singh Dhami said that history inspires us that challenges can be solved only through unity. He said that even at present, the anti-Panth forces are engaged in weakening the organizations that talk about Sikh teachings, and to tackle the same, we have to be prepared consciously and intellectually.
He said that there is a need for a concerted effort to connect the youth with the Sikh heritage, so that a young generation inspired from Sikh teachings can be born for the better future of the community. The Sikh organization SGPC is continuously making efforts in this area and the Sikh Sangat should play a major role in its support.
SGPC general secretary Bhai Gurcharan Singh Grewal said that the history of the community serves as a source of strength to determine future priorities. The Singh Sabha movement has given a path to the community, in the light of which support to the work of Panthic organizations is very necessary. He said that anti-Sikh people are trying hard to destroy Sikh institutions, which the community has to be aware of.
Shiromani Akali Dal senior leader and former cabinet minister Gulzar Singh Ranike, Dal Panth Baba Bidhi Chand head Baba Avtar Singh Sursingh, granthi of Sri Harmandir Sahib Giani Gurminder Singh, Padmashri Baba Sewa Singh Khadur Sahib, president of Kendri Sri Guru Singh Sabha Chandigarh Prof Sham Singh also spoke during the event and inspired to guard the Gurbani and Sikh history. Before this, the bhog (concluding ceremony) Sri Akhand Path Sahib was held and prominent raagi jathas performed Gurbani Kirtan.
On the occasion of the event, an amount of Rs 32 lakh was also distributed by the SGPC to 1,552 students who topped the religious examination. Langar services was offered by Baba Kashmir Singh Bhuriwale Samprada. The prominent personalities who arrived were honoured by the SGPC with Siropao (robe of honour). A painting exhibition presenting history through paintings was also the center of attraction besides the book counter.