Posted by: Singh Is King | Tuesday, August 21, 2007

After Akal Takht, SGPC fail, Punjab govt takes ordinance route

ImageChandigarh: Admitting the utter failure of the SGPC over the years to enforce its writ, as also a failure of the community to enforce repeated hukumnamas of the Akal Takht upon the publishers who run their activities only yards away from the top temporal seat of the Sikh community, finally it is the Punjab Government which now plans to regulate the affairs of printing of the scriptures. The Punjab government will issue an ordinance banning the publication and publishing of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scripture, by private publishers. There is no guarantee that the decision will not be challenged in the courts of law.The decision was taken by the government following the reception of a letter from Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandik Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Badal said the government will issue an ordinance in this context. He directed his Principal Secretary D S Guru 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 tantamounts 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 pulishing 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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