Taken from the Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions
Here is a dose of daily religion from A to Z.
Today’s religious topic is as follows:
Akali Dal, also called Shiromani Akali Dal (Punjabi: “Followers of the Timeless One” [God]), Sikh political part in British an Independent India (see also SIKHISM). The title Akali refers to 18th-century Sikh soldiers made famous by the courage they displayed when they gathered to fight against the Mughals and later the Afghans. The modern Akali Dal came into existence in 1920 as Sikh volunteers took up the responsibility of reforming the administration of Sikh GURDWARAS (temples). When the SHIROMANI GURDWARA PRABANDHAK COMMITTEE (SGPC) was established in 1925 as the authoritative Sikh body for specifically religious matters, the Akali Dal came to see itself in a parallel way as the sole protector of the political interests of the Sikh community. It was given the task of representing Sikh interests—unsuccessfully, any felt—in the negotiations that preceded the partition of the Punjab in 1947.
The Akali Dal has historically found itself in conflict with the central government of India in Delhi. Its sustained efforts led to the founding in 1966 of the present-day state of Punjab, where Sikhs are in the majority an Punjabi is the official language. The Akali Dal was the only political party that offered stiff resistance to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s effort to stifle democratic institutions in the Punjab in the mid-1970s. Drawing its support principally from the Sikh peasantry, it is the oldest regional political party on the Indian political scene. It has been in and out of power at the state level from the late 1960s onward.
(Comeback on 7/31/14 and continue to learn about religion. Tomorrow you’ll read and learn about “Akal Takhat“.