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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Plans for all-inclusive nagar kirtan in Dhubri

Dhubri, Dec. 12: The Sikh Pratinidhi Board of the eastern zone is planning to organise a nagar kirtan (town procession) as a symbol of unity and fraternity this year.

Nagar kirtan is a Sikh custom involving the processional singing of holy hymns throughout a community. This year, it will be a three-day affair — beginning from December 15 at Dhubri Gurudwara. The event will coincide with the 337th Swahidi Divas (martyrdom day) of Sri Guru Teg Bahdur Sahib Ji.

Although nagar kirtan is taken out every year for the well-being of the town’s people, this is the first time that the Sikh Board is making an effort to make the procession a secular affair, to reflect the unity, amity and brotherhood among all sections of people.

The board’s secretary, Sardar Kulwant Singh, told The Telegraph that thousands of Sikh pilgrims come on the occasion of Swahidi Divas to participate in the nagar kirtan. Devotees from across India and abroad throng to Dhubri Gurudwara Sri Guru Teg Bahdur Sahb Ji, one of the holiest shrines of the Sikhs, on Swahidi Divas every year.

“But this time, we have decided to bring out nagar kirtan with the chanting of Gurugranth Sahib (Guruvani) and participation by people of all faiths and communities to spread the message of unity, amity and brotherhood among all section people. I appeal to the peace-loving people of Dhubri town to participate in the nagar kirtan,” Singh added.

Singh said the celebration would begin with prabhat pherry (morning procession) and akhand path on December 15, which will continue for three days and come to an end with bhog sri akhand path on December 17.

Guru ka langar will be served on the premises of Gurudwara Sri Guru Teg Bahdur Sahib Ji throughout the three days, Singh said.

He urged the Dhubri district administration and police to provide tight security during the celebration and also appealed to all organisations not to call strikes during Swahidi Divas as it would inconvenience devotees.

Gurudwara sources said Sikh devotees from Canada, UK, US, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Italy, France, Germany, Malaysia, China, Nepal, Bhutan and many other countries are likely to visit the gurdwara to take part in the three-day celebrations this year.