Devotees sit in front of the illuminated Golden Temple on the eve of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, in Amritsar on November 7, 2022. (Photo by Narinder NANU / AFP) (Photo by NARINDER NANU/AFP via Getty Images)
A delegation of officers of the British Army on Wednesday (9) paid obeisance at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab.
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak committee chief Harjinder Singh Dhami honoured the delegates with ‘siropao’ (robe of honour) and religious texts at the shrine’s information centre.
Major Daljinder Singh Virdee, an officer of the British Army associated with UK-based Defence Sikh Network, presented to Dhami a ‘Nitnem Gutka Sahib’ (daily Sikh prayers) and literature on Sikh identity and turban in that country’s armed forces.
Appreciating the Defence Sikh Network’s efforts within the British Army, Dhami said, “They are working to revive old Sikh traditions as laid out by our elderly.”
He said the ‘Nitnem Gutka Sahib’ is part of the uniform of ‘amritdhari’ (baptised) Sikhs in the British Army.
Similar unique Gurbani scriptures were given to Sikh soldiers in the British Army during the world wars and the Defence Sikh Network’s work is along the same lines, Dhami said.
The Defence Sikh Network has also worked with the British Army to publish literature on Sikh identity and the turban to inform the next generation about Sikh culture and heritage.
He said the Defence Sikh Network had a major contribution in determining different turban colours for the three branches of the British Army — Army, Navy and Air Force — and called it “a big achievement”.
Dhami also appreciated the work of Saragarhi Foundation Chairman Dr Gurinderpal Singh Josan.
The delegation arrived in Amritsar to take part in an event to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Saragarhi (1897). The event was originally scheduled for September but had to be postponed due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The delegation included Major General Celia Harvey, Major Varinder Singh Bassi, Major Daljinder Singh Virdi, Captain Brijinder Singh Nijjar, Warrant Officer Ashok Chauhan, Sergeant Manjit Singh Jhajj, Sergeant Tajinder Singh, Sergeant Pardeep Kaur, Lance Corporal Manpreet Kaur Maycock and Lance Corporal Harmeet Singh.