Rakhra orders burning of re-launched book

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: May 25, 2015 22:40 IST

Following sharp criticism from Sikh bodies, the Punjab government has asked the state langauage department to burn the copies of a controversial book which was re-launched by it, despite being banned in 1987 for containing objectionable remarks against the first Sikh Guru Nanak Dev.

The department had recently re-launched the book 'Janam Sakhi Bhai Bala Da Paath-Parmanikaran Te Aalochnatmak Sampadan' by Dr Gurbachan Kaur.

"I have asked the director (lanugage) to burn the copies of the book with immediate effect, besides conducting a probe to find out the guilty, who mooted the proposal for the re-launch of the book", said Surjit Singh Rakhra, minister for higher education and languages.

Meanwhile, Chetan Singh, director (languages), on Monday sought the education and languages secretary's permission for destroying the controversial book. "I have moved the file and we will get the nod by Tuesday. Till that time, I have asked the staff to lock the entire stock of copies of the book in a room, which will be destroyed after getting the written orders", he said while adding that an enquiry had also been initiated in this regard.

The Punjab language department, which had re-launched the banned book, was quick to withdraw the order fearing backlash.
The book was banned by the Punjab government in 1987 after it noticed that it contained certain objectionable remarks against the first Sikh Guru.

More than 27 years later, the language department, in a bid to sell the remaining stock of the first edition (with 1,000 total print order), floated a proposal that the book can be sold by removing the pages with the objectionable content. The proposal was accepted and the book was distributed across the state.

Meanwhile, various Sikh bodies had flayed the re-launch of the book and demanded registration of an FIR against the language department. They demanded a case under section 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code against the language department.

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