SGPC to print Guru Granth Sahib in Canadian province | punjab | Hindustan Times
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SGPC to print Guru Granth Sahib in Canadian province

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has finally accepted the demand of non-resident Indian (NRI) Sikhs by agreeing to print Guru Granth Sahib in British Columbia, Canada.

punjab Updated: Mar 03, 2015 22:22 IST
HT Correspondent

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has finally accepted the demand of non-resident Indian (NRI) Sikhs by agreeing to print Guru Granth Sahib in British Columbia, Canada.

This decision was taken by the SGPC executive at its meeting held at Gurdwara Katana Sahib in Ludhiana district on Tuesday. The meeting was presided over by SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar.

For this, the SGPC will collaborate with the Satnam Educational Trust, based in British Columbia.

This decision follows reports of the Sikh scripture being printed in China. The SGPC had got a case registered against a US-based website, sikhlink.com, for making available hard copies of the scripture as well as putting it online. The Akal Takht had taken a serious note of this and asked Sikhs not to 'acquire' or 'purchase' made-in-China copies of Guru Granth Sahib.

Growing demand

Over the past couple of years, the demand for printing the holy book in countries with a sizeable Sikh population has been growing. This was because the Amritsar-based religious body does not permit the carrying of the scripture by individuals in their baggage.

A certain religious code has to be adhered to while transporting the scripture abroad to prevent any form of disrespect to Guru Granth Sahib. The scripture cannot be put into the baggage-carrying compartment of an airliner, along with the rest of the baggage, and flown.

Due to this code, the SGPC normally prefers to ship the scripture in containers. So, the holy book is shipped only when a sizeable number of orders are received by the SGPC from one country or from a number of countries adjoining each other. However, there have been instances of the scripture being carried by SGPC officials on board flights.

On behalf of members of the community, gurdwaras in countries such as England, Canada and the US also place orders with the SGPC. In such cases, extra copies of the scripture are despatched. Individuals approaching the SGPC in Amritsar are often given the address of the gurdwara in their country from where they can collect it.

As the SGPC is the sole printing and publishing authority, delays are bound to occur. As per an order of the Akal Takht and also the Punjab government, no one else can print or publish the scripture.

Sub-committee formed The executive, after giving the go-ahead for printing of the scripture in Canada, has formed a sub-committee to work out the details involved in the process. This will include inspection of the premises of Satnam Educational Trust as well as the printing facilities available there.

The members of this sub-committee are SGPC senior vice-president Raghujit Singh Virk, general secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, executive member Rajinder Singh Mehta and secretary Roop Singh.

The sub-committee will visit Canada for the purpose, A detailed report will be presented to Makkar; thereafter, the nod for starting printing will commence.

This venture will ensure that Sikhs settled in Canada, the US and some South American nations get their copies of the Guru Granth Sahib in time. It will also save the SGPC a sizeable amount on money which was being spent on sending the scripture abroad. The religious body was bearing the entire packaging and transporting costs.

The SGPC also has plans to start printing of the scripture from Yuba City in California (US). It is setting up an International Sikh Centre there, land for which has already been registered in the SGPC's name.