Akālī

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Akālī (Pañjābī, ‘deathless’). Designation by Gurū Gobind Siṅgh of those devotees of Akāl (i.e. God), the Timeless one, who were prepared to die for the Sikh cause. Their fearlessness won the title ‘Nihaṇg’, although the two terms have since gained widely differing connotations. The Akālī Dal (political party) first met in 1926 and, despite division, has continued to dominate the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee and to campaign actively—e.g. for a Pañjābī-speaking state (achieved in 1966) and for greater Sikh autonomy.