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Metaphysics (23)
AKALI, a term now appropriated by members of the dominant Sikh political party, the Shiromani Akali Dal, founded in 1920, and groups splitting from it from time to time, was earlier used for Nihangs (q.v.), an order of armed religious zealots among the baptized Sikhs. The word Nihang is from the Persian nihang meaning crocodile, alligator, shark or water dragon, and signifies qualities of ferocity and fearlessness. The term Akali is originally from Akal, the Timeless One.
AKALI DAL, CENTRAL, a political organization of the Sikhs set up in March 1934 as a parallel body to the Shiromani Akali Dal. The latter was formed on 14 December 1920 to assist the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in its campaign for the reformation of the management of the Sikh places of worship and, under pressure of the agitation it had launched, the Punjab Legislative Council passed on 7 July 1925 the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, providing for a Central Board elected by the Sikhs to take over control of the shrines.
AKALI DAL, SHIROMANI (shiromani= exalted, foremost in rank; dal = corps, of akali volunteers who had shed fear of death), the premier political party of the modern period of Sikhism seeking to protect the political rights of the Sikhs, to represent them in the public bodies and legislative councils being set up by the British in India and to preserve and advance their religious heritage, came into existence during the Gurdwara reform movement, also known as the Akali movement, of the early 1920`s. Need for reform in the conditions prevalent in their places of worship had been brought home to Sikhs by the Singh Sabha upsurge in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.
AKAL TAKHT is the primary seat of Sikh religious authority and central altar for Sikh political assembly. Through hukamnamas, edicts or writes, it may issue decretals providing guidance or clarification on any point of Sikh doctrine or practice referred to it, may lay under penance personages charged with violation of religious discipline or with activity prejudicial to Sikh interests or solidarity and may place on record its appreciation of , outstanding services rendered or sacrifices made by individuals espousing the cause of Sikhism or of the Sikhs.
ALL-PARTIES CONFERENCES (more aptly, ALL-PARTY CONFERENCES), a series of conventions which took place in 1928 bringing together representatives of various political parties and communities in India with a view to working out a mutually agreed formula for the country's constitutional advance in response to the invitation of the British government. On 7 July 1925, Lord Birkenhead, the Secretary of State for India, had, in a speech in the House of Lords, said: "Let them (the Indians) produce a constitution which carries behind it a fair measure of general agreement among the great people of India. Such a contribution to our problems would nowhere be resented.
BABAR AKALI MOVEMENT, a radical outgrowth of the Akali movement for the reform of Sikh places of worship during the early 1920's. The latter, aiming to have the shrines released from the control of priests who had become lax and effete over the generations, was peaceful in its character and strategy. In the course of the prolonged campaign, Akalis true to their vows patiently suffered physical injury and violence at the hands of the priests as well as of government authority.
BELA, pronounced bella, means, in Punjabi usage, a jungle of tall grasses, reeds and assorted shrubbery along the banks of rivers and streams. The word also received a different connotation when an Udasi saint and preacher, Banakhandi, established in AD 1818 a preaching centre on an Island in the River Indus near Sakkhar in Sindh (now in Pakistan) and named it Shri Sadhubela Tirath. This created a new vogue and several other Udasi centres adopted the name Sadhu Bela although they were nowhere near a river.
BHASAUR SINGH SABHA, or to give its full name Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Bhasaur, was established in 1893 twenty years after the first Singh Sabha came into existence in Amritsar at the village of Bhasaur in the then princely state of Patiala. The Singh Sabha, a powerful reform movement among the Sikhs, was as much an urban phenomenon as it was rural. While there were very strong Singh Sabhas in cities such as Rawalpindi, Lahore, Shimla and Firozpur, Singh Sabhas flourished in small villages like Badbar and Bagarian as well.
CENTRAL SIKH LEAGUE, political organization of the Sikhs which guided their affairs until the Shiromani Akali Dal emerged as a mass force. The inaugural session of the Central Sikh League was held at Amritsar on 29 December 1919, coinciding with the annual sessions of the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League. It was dominated by the educated Sikhs from the middle strata such as Sardul Singh Caveeshar, Harchand Singh Lyallpuri and Master Sundar Singh Lyallpuri. The first president was Sardar Bahadur Gajjan Singh representing moderate political opinion.
Tags: central, akali

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World Gurudwaras

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