AMRITSAR SAHIB, Punjab—June 21, the longest day of year, was observed as ‘Gatka Diwas’ (Gatka Day) at various places in Punjab, especially in Majha zone. While the Indian government has observed June 21 as ‘Yoga Diwas’ for the last few years, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) gave counter call to Sikh masses to mark June 21 as Gatka Diwas.
Various Gatka teams in Amritsar and Ajnala observed the ‘Gatka Diwas’ with zeal. Despite extensive drizzle in Amritsar today, Gatka teams started playing in the morning at Tej Nagar cross road to display their martial skills. Hundreds of Gatka players attracted the attention of commuters causing rush there for about an hour.
Similarly, the Sarbat Khalsa Jathedar of Takht Sri Damdama Sahib Bhai Amrik Singh Ajnala also followed the call of SAD (Amritsar). Under his patronage, players enthusiastically played Gatka at Gurmat Vidiyala of Ajnala.
Interacting with media, Bhai Amrik Singh Ajnala said the sixth Sikh master Guru Hargobind Singh Ji had blessed Sikhs with martial art in form of Gatka which is a symbol of our dignity and defense of human rights.
There have been also reports of observing June 21 as Gatka Diwas in various other places in Punjab including village Mahal situated on the outskirts of Amritsar.
Gatka is a complete martial system which uses spiritual, mental and physical skills to help one become fully competent in defending themselves and others. In addition to giving student defensive skills, it also helps the individual with other aspects of their life: making the mind alert and responsive, maintaining the body to an optimum condition and makes the soul fearless, yet compassionate and tranquil.
Gatka targets the coordination of mind and body through the meditation of spiritual verses of Gurbani, a holistic system by which the character and moral attitude of a student is shaped.