The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 8 , 2014
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Tenth guru binds Sikhs

Thousands of Sikh community members celebrated the 348th birth anniversary of their 10th guru, Guru Gobind Singh, with religious fervour on Tuesday.

Various programmes were organised to mark the day, but the highlight was the grand procession, nagar kirtan, taken out from Baridih Gurdwara to Sakchi Gurdwara, a distance of 7km.

About 15,000 people walked with kirpans (swords) and flags. Women sang hymns, while youths rode on horses.

This time, children also took part in the gatka, the Sikh martial art form, which earlier used to be performed by teams from Punjab.

Members of Stree Satsang Samiti, Naujawan Sabha and Sevak Jattha Dal took part in the nagar kirtan organised to carry the holy book of the Sikhs, Guru Granth Sahib, across the city.

Panch Pyare, the five self-sacrificing heroes of the Khalsas, protect the holy text.

If the devotees were armed with swords and flags, a group of 20 broom-wielding men made sure that the roads were not left dirty.

Setting an example, religious outfit Dharam Prachaar Committee formed a team of 20 people to clean the roads after the procession passed.

“We felt that people should enjoy the festival, but the roads shouldn’t be left littered with wafers packets and flower petals. We had a team of 20 people with brooms who made it a point to clean every area after the procession crossed,” said Baljeet Sansoa, Dharam Prachar Committee member.

However, the day is not only about celebrations, but also promoting and spreading the tenets of Sikh culture.

All the gurdwaras were decked up with lights. The mandatory and delicious langar — meal of rice, chapatis, tadka dal, sabzi and pickles — was offered to people.

Keeping the security aspect in mind, policemen were deployed to avoid any untoward incident.