SRINAGAR: Baisakhi was celebrated with religious fervour by the Sikh community across Kashmir valley on Saturday.

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The main function in Kashmir was held at the Chatti Padshahi Gurudwara located at Rainawari in old Srinagar. All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee Chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina said they held prayers, kirtan and organised langars at major Gurdwaras across Kashmir.

“Many scholars, kirtan jathas were invited from Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) in the celebrations which was also attended by the local kirtan jathas,” Raina said. He said langar was arranged by the Gurdwara committee which was served to thousands of devotees. Many small edible stalls were also arranged by many NGOs, which gave a festive look to the function.

This year one thing remained unique that Panja Pyaras came from Punjab and many boys and girls were baptised to Khalsa panth as per Guru Gobind Singhji’s teachings, Raina said. Baisakhi is celebrated as the day of the creation of the Khalsa. Culturally, much of India celebrates Baisakhi as a harvest festival and is often also referred to as the Sikh New Year.

Raina said that Sikh population of 80,000 in Kashmir has a unique way of celebrating Baisakhi. Functions were held in all major Gurdwaras in Kashmir. “One could see both religious activities and as well as festival look in celebrating Baisakhi. One may not find such celebration out of Kashmir valley. This is because of cultural bindings of all religions in Kashmir,” the Chairman of APSCC said.

Meanwhile, the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha paid obeisance at the Gurudwara Sahib Abtal, Ramgarh, Samba. He prayed for peace, prosperity, happiness and well-being of all.

In his address, the Lt Governor extended his heartiest greetings to the people and recalled the vision of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji for a just and inclusive society.

“I bow to the venerable Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji. Guruji’s message of selfless service, truthfulness, sacrifice, equality and universal love is an abiding source of inspiration for all of us.

On this day in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, the tenth Guru, formalized the concept of Saint-Soldier by introducing the Amrit ceremony and transformed the Sikhs into a family of Saints-Soldiers, known as the Khalsa Panth,” the Lt Governor said.

He said a collective name given to the first five Khalsa is Panj Pyare. The Panj Pyare who were baptized by Guru Gobind Singh Ji were -Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh, Bhai Himmat Singh, Bhai Mohkam Singh, and Bhai Sahib Singh.

The Lt Governor called upon the youth to follow the ideals that Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji espoused throughout his life and strive relentlessly toward the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden. On this Baisakhi, let us resolve to tread the path shown by Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, he said.

On the occasion, the Lt Governor paid tributes to those martyred in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. He said, the courage and supreme sacrifice of our martyrs will continue to inspire us to build India of their dreams.

He also lauded the invaluable contribution of the farming community in nation-building. Ajit Singh, Chairman, Sikh Coordination Committee J&K; Amarjeet Singh, President Gurudwara Sahib Abtal; senior officials of Police and Civil Administration, religious heads, prominent citizens, community elders and people from all walks of life were present on the occasion and paid their obeisance at the Gurudwara Sahib.




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