Posted by: Singh Is King | Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Punjab Ordinance Bans Private Printing of Guru Granth Sahib Saroops

Chandigarh, Punjab –  The Government of Punjab has decided to issue an ordinance that would ban the publication and publishing of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scripture, by private publishers. Only the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee would be allowed to publish the Holy Saroops.

The decision was taken by the government following the reception of a letter from Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar.

Acknowledging the reception of the letter from the SGPC, Government representatives told media persons that the government will issue an ordinance in this context.  The Chief Minister’s Principal Secretary D S Guru is to issue the ordinance which would be valid till the next assembly session.

In the letter, Jathedar Makkar had pointed out that despite the ban, a number of private publishers still continued to publish and print the Sikh scripture. He had sought the state governments help to curb this trend.

The SGPC had a few years back banned private publishing houses or individuals from printing and publishing the Guru Granth Sahib.

The ban was imposed after it was found that a majority of the publishers had not been adhering to the ‘religious rules’ framed by the SGPC, which tantamount to showing ‘disrespect’ to the scripture.

The ‘rules’ are normally those followed when a devotee goes to a Gurdwara to pay obeisance. These include covering the head and washing ones hands and not wearing shoes or slippers while publishing the Guru Granth Sahib.

Consumption of alcohol, tobacco and smoking are also banned inside publishing houses or in shops where the scripture is displayed for sale. Under the rules, pages or verses of the Holy Scripture which are ‘rejected’ due to printing errors have to be ‘cremated’ as per traditions laid down in Sikhism.

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