Photo Source: Babushahi Network
Read: How this Punjab city founded by Guru Arjun Dev to observe Martrymdom Day?
Tarn Taran, June 13, 2021: Tarn-Taran Sahib city, founded by the fifth Sikh Guru Arjun Dev, will be observing the Martrymdom Day of its founder in a low-key manner this time, owing to COVID-19.
Guru Arjun Dev whose Shaheedi Diwas is observed every year on June 14, 2021, laid the foundation stone of this city in 1596. The fifth Guru created this city for the welfare of the people. Born in Goindwal Sahib, Tarn Taran district, Guru Arjun Dev, the fifth Sikh Guru was the first Sikh martyr.
Mughal Emperor Jahangir ordered Guru Arjun Dev, be tortured and sentenced to death after the Guru had refused to stop preaching his message of God as started by Guru Nanak Dev.
On June 16, 1606, Guru Arjun Dev died after being tortured for five days by the Mughal government led by Emperor Jahangir. Sikhs observe the Martyrdom of Guru Arjun Dev every year on the same day.
While the management of Gurudwara Tarn Taran Sahib organizes several programs on the account of the Shaheedi Diwas, the program has been limited owing to Coronavirus.
While there were no programs due to the COVID-19 outbreak last year, the Gurdwara management informed that at least 75-80 Shabeel (traditional sherbet) stalls are set up every year on this day.
"This year, the Shabeel will be only available for the devotees on four points which is usually used for serving drinking water to devotees," informed Dharwinder Singh, manager Shri Darbar Sahib, Tarn Taran.
Dharwinder further informed that every year, the Gurudwara holds a week-long program but the programs have been limited owing to COVID-19.
"Though we have not been issued any directions from the administration, as responsible members of the society, we have canceled many programs even the 24 hours long program on the occasion of Chaudas and Massya that is organized in Diwan Hall. Many devotees stay in Gurudwara premises at night to attend all the programs," he said.
Will a limited program will reduce the footfall of devotees?
Although the COVID-19 positive cases are on the decline in the state, a mass gathering remains a concern for the administration as well as the government. The Gurdwara management however said that though their Sewadars will be urging the devotees to maintain, they can’t strictly dictate COVID-19 preventive rules on devotees.
“We have deputed 4 to 5 Sewadars each in all the four gates of Gurudwara Sahib who will be requesting the people to maintain a social distance but we can't do anything more than that since it is a religious place and people are sensitive about it,” Gurudwara Sahib manager informed.
It is worth mentioning that the Tarn Taran district caters to around 489 villages and the majority of the devotees who will be paying obeisance to Gurudwara Tarn Taran Sahib from rural areas.
A Gurdwara Sewadar requesting anonymity shared that people usually don’t wear a mask and follow other COVID rules inside the Gurudwara premises as they believe that this is where they will find the solution to all their problems.
“Earlier, many called Gurudwara Tarn Taran Sahib also as Dukhniwaran Sahib. Devotees from far-off places come here to take blessings in Guru Arjun Dev's Nagri. People are not worried about COVID inside Gurdwara premises," he said.