Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Architect of Nanakshahi Calendar, Sikh scholar Purewal passes away

EDMONTON: An architect of Nanakshahi Calendar that is symbol of distinct identity of the Sikh nation, Canada based Sikh scholar Pal Singh Purewal passed away during wee hours on Thursday.  

His health condition was critical and he was under treatment in the local hospital as per his family members. He breathed his last at 1.30 am.

The Calendar designed by him was adopted by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) in 2003.

As per the information shared on Wikipedia, he was a retired engineer, author, scholar and a teacher.

He emigrated to the United Kingdom in 1965 and worked as a senior engineer at Texas Instruments. He moved to Canada in 1974. He authored various research papers establishing the authenticity of the Sikh calendar since 1960s. His published texts include: Jantri 500 YEARS – An Almanac, published by Punjab School Education Board in November 1994, and Hijri Calendar – A book for which he received “lifetime achievement” award.

Though the calendar created by him is considered as distinct Sikh identity, it has courted controversies as well on certain issues including the dates of religious festivals and ‘gurpurbs’. It has divided Sikh nation into two parts. Thanks to it, the SGPC rolled it back under pressure from Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Khalsa-led Sant Samaj, which was in alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) during the SGPC polls in 2010.

The original version was replaced with the new one, which was amended on pattern of old Bikrami calendar, but the SGPC retained its nomenclature ‘Nanaksahi calendar’.

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