Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh regretted that despite repeated reminders and appeals, local area gurdwara committees continued to show laxity in safeguarding the Guru Granth Sahib in their respective gurdwaras.
In this context, he made a reference to some recent incidents of “saroops” of the scripture being destroyed due to accidental fires occurring inside gurdwaras. “A couple of days back, a ‘saroop’ of the scripture was partially damaged following a fire caused due to short circuiting of electrical wires in a shrine in Tarn Taran district,” he said.
“Such cases amount to sacrilege of the holy book and we must take the necessary precautions to ensure that these incidents do not occur. We have repeatedly been issuing warnings to remain alert, but sadly some gurdwara management committees continue with their casual approach,” he said in a statement issued here on Thursday.
The Jathedar pointed out that it was not difficult on the part of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to keep a track of each and every “saroop” that it has issued to local area gurdwara committees. “At the time of issuing of the “saroop” every detail is entered into a register by the SGPC and this record can be helpful in keeping a track of the “saroop” and ensuring that the scripture is being kept in accordance with Sikh traditions,” he added.
The jathedar pointed out that an Australia-based Sikh Jaswinder Singh had recently developed software that would help in keeping a record of each and every “saroop” of the Guru Granth Sahib, not just in India but even abroad. “All information of a particular “saroop” can be had with the click of a button,” he added, while asking the SGPC to get in touch with Jaswinder Singh.
The jathedar said the SGPC has already issued certain directions to local area gurdwara committees, which they have to comply with before approaching the SGPC for a new or fresh “saroop” of the scripture. “The application of the local area committee must have the approval of the SGPC member of the area. Besides, it must also bear the signatures of the SGPC preacher active in the area as well as it must be approved by sarpanch or councillor of the area and only then should a “saroop” be issued by the Sikh religious body,” he said.