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Pal Singh Purewal

NRI Pal Singh Purewal, Man behind
Nanakshahi calendar, has passed away

Los Angeles, Sep. 23, 2023 A.Gary Singh

  • The creator & The architect of ‘mool’ Nanakshahi calendar
  • Engineer, author, academic, and teacher Pal Singh Purewal was a Canadian 1931- 1932 till September 22, 2022
  • He was a senior engineer at Texas Instruments when immigrated to the UK in 1965. In 1974, he relocated to Canada

The revised Nanakshahi calendar was designed by Pal Singh Purewal to replace the Bikrami calendar. The epoch of this calendar is the birth of the first Sikh Guru, Nanak Dev in 1469 and the Nanakshahi year commences on 1 Chet. New Year’s Day falls annually on what is 14 March in the Gregorian Western calendar.

Citing that the Sikhs should have a separate calendar as they have a distinct identity, Purewal made concerted efforts in coordination with prominent scholars only to chalk out a calendar, which was tropical solar, termed as Nanakshahi calendar.

The Nanak Shahi calendar began in 1469 AD, marking the year of Guru Nanak’s birth. The calendar has six months of 30 days and five months of 31 days.

There are 12 months or mahine in an year according to desi calendar. Chet (ਚੇਤ) is the first month of the year according to desi calendar and the year ends with the Phagan (ਫੱਗਣ) month.

  • The Sikhs and the Hindus had been following the Bikrami calendar or a lunar calendar.
  • After a general house resolution was passed in 1999, it was subsequently released by the SGPC at the 300th anniversary of the Khalsa panth and accepted (in part) under the leadership of Kirpal Singh Badungar, had adopted the calendar in 2003.
  • Since then, it has been courting controversies on certain issues, including dates of religious festivals and gurpurbs.
  • Pal Singh Purewal, the architect of the Nanakshahi calendar, met the Sikh Jathedars on March 20.
  • He appealed to them to direct the SGPC to revert to the ‘original’ Nanakshahi calendar prepared by him in 2003.
  • The SGPC after recognising the 2003 calendar had brought about certain amendments in 2009. This amended calendar was approved by the SGPC and the Akal Takht in 2010 and since then has been followed by the Sikh community.

A fresh controversy continued, with a section of the Sant Samaj handing over a memorandum to the Akal Takht jathedar seeking to revert to the traditional Bikrami calendar that the Sikhs followed prior to 2003.

In the memorandum, they had contended that even the amended calendar of 2010 continued to cause confusion among the Sikhs.
The memorandum is still under consideration with the Akal Takht jathedar as the move of the Sant Samaj is being opposed by large sections of Sikh diaspora and Sikh nationalists.

Gurbani And Nanakshahi Calendar (Pal Singh Purewal, Edmonton).......Click Here