The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has taken a strong exception to a picture of the Golden Temple on fast food chain McDonald's pamphlets that are put on serving trays.
SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar has asked McDonald's to immediately stop the use of such pamphlets.
The SGPC's reaction came following reports that the company was using pamphlets (with an image of the Golden Temple) on service trays to promote its items at an international trade fair in Italy. The pamphlet gives details of the items available at McDonald's, including liquor brands.
"The use of such pamphlets on service trays amounts to disrespect to the shrine and the Sikh religion. Non-vegetarian items are also served on such trays and often while munching small pieces of meat fall on the trays with pamphlets having a picture of the shrine," said Makkar.
"We don't expect this from a worldwide popular food chain . This has hurt our religious sentiments as the Golden Temple is the most reverend Sikh shrine," he said.
Makkar has asked the food chain to immediately tender a public apology to the Sikh community. "If an apology doesn't come in the next few days, the SGPC will take a legal recourse," he warned. He said firm should have sought the SGPC's advice before printing such pamphlets.
The pamphlets were first spotted by some Sikhs in Italy and sought their immediate withdrawal. However, the food outlet told them that the pamphlets had come from the head office of McDonald's in the US and could only be withdrawn on its orders.
Navdeep Singh Goldy, who has rented out a portion of his building near the Golden Temple to McDonald's, said no such pamphlet was in use in any of the company's outlets in Punjab. This outlet being in the vicinity of the shrine is the only one in Punjab that serves only vegetarian items," he said.
McDonald's officials could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
Being used in Italy
*The SGPC's reaction came following reports that the company was using pamphlets, with an image of the Golden Temple, on service trays to promote its items at an international trade fair in Italy.
*The pamphlet gives details of the items available at McDonald's, including liquor brands
*The SGPC has asked the company to immediately halt the use of such pamphlets