The Sikh community in Kolkata celebrated the traditional New Year on Monday.
Monday was the first day of Chet, the first month of the Sikh Calendar. It usually falls on March 14.
For Sikhs, Monday started with a visit to gurdwaras.
Bhowanipore, Kalighat, New Alipore and Dunlop, gurdwaras everywhere were buzzing with visitors since morning. “We prayed for peace in Ukraine and all other strife-torn places. We prayed for the end of sufferings to women and children, and all mankind, on this auspicious occasion,” said Avtar Singh, general secretary of Gurdwara Sant Kutiya on Harish Mukherjee Road.
Kirtans were also held, followed by distribution of prasad and langars.
“Humanitarian response to a crisis must always be rooted in prayer and so we invite each and everyone to join with us in praying most earnestly...,” said Satnam Singh Ahluwalia, general secretary of Gurdwara Behala and the chairman of IHA Foundation, that works for the uplift of poor and communal harmony.
Leaders from different communities later met at the house of Reverend Paritosh Canning, the bishop of the Calcutta diocese of the Church of North India, to celebrate the Sikh New Year and take a pledge to preserve peace and unity.
“Peace, unity and brotherhood are not mere words and are very essential in these times...,” said Rt Revd Canning.
“No religion teaches or preaches us to fight another person, for anything,” said Moulana Syed Zaki Hasan Rizvi, imam of Imam-e-Jumma Masjid in Metiabruz.