PA declares Guru Nanak’s birthday as public holiday

Sikh lawmaker demands celebration of revered guru’s birthday

LAHORE – Punjab Assembly on Wednesday adopted a resolution tabled by MPA Ramesh Singh Arora to declare birthday of Baba Guru Nanak – founder of Sikhism – as a public holiday.

The resolution – passed during the protest of the opposition – also stated that the government must celebrate birthday of revered Baba Nanak as his birth is celebrated worldwide on Kartik Puranmashi, the full-moon day which falls on different dates each year in the month of Katak (October to November).

Arora – wearing a traditional orange-coloured turban – is the first Sikh lawmaker in the provincial assembly since independence. He grew up in a modest Sikh family from Nankana Sahib before his family moved to Kartarpur in district Narowal to serve at the Gurdwara as a granthi.

On Wednesday, the Punjab Assembly completed its 100 days of first parliamentary year from June 1, 2013. During this tenure, total eight sessions were held and 31 bills and 46 resolutions were passed in the House. During all eight sessions, as many as 78 members of the treasury benches did not participate in any proceeding and remained fully silent in the House and 43 gave speech only once.

Notably, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif joined the House only 10 times despite several requests of the opposition. The Wednesday session started late in routine one hour and seven minutes late to its scheduled time at 10am under the chair of Speaker Rana Iqbal. Soon after proroguing the session, the opposition members continued their protest outside of the assembly chamber.

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