Amritsar: The holiest of Sikh shrines, Harmandir Sahib, popularly known as the Golden Temple, in this city of Punjab will not be lit up this Diwali in the wake of desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib, an official said here on Tuesday.
“Following the incidents of desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib across Punjab, we have decided not to celebrate Diwali this time,” Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar said.
He said there would be no illumination of the Golden Temple and there will be no fireworks display.
The Amritsar-based SGPC, the mini-parliament of Sikh religious affairs, controls Sikh shrines across Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
The SGPC has also urged the Sikhs not to celebrate Diwali with fireworks but light only earthen lamps.
Every Diwali, which is also celebrated in the Sikh religion as ‘Bandi Chhor Diwas’ (prisoner liberation day), the Golden Temple is illuminated with millions of lights and attracts tens of thousands of devotees.
On Diwali, the sixth guru of the Sikhs, Guru Hargobind, returned to Amritsar on being released along with 52 princes by Mughal emperor Jahangir from the Gwalior prison in 1619.
This is the third time in 30 years that there will be no Diwali celebrations at the Golden Temple.
One of the occasions was in 1984 to protest Operation Bluestar, the army operation to flush out militants holed up in the Golden Temple.
First Published | 27 October 2015 12:23 PM