Sikh scholars and historians of the Centre on Studies in Sri Guru Granth Sahib at Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) here claim that a majority of the relics of the Sikh Gurus that are on display in the ongoing ‘Darshan Yatra’ have been authenticated on the basis of historical evidence. The experts feel that the controversy over the authenticity of the relics has arisen because no documentation of the Sikh relics, especially their movement in history, present custodians, details about their size and material, has been made so far.
Asserting that documentation of relics of the Sikh Gurus is the only way to avoid such controversy, the centre’s head, Prof Balwant Singh Dhillon, said “Unfortunately, the Sikh heritage in the form of relics has so far not found attention at the hands of scholars. No documentation of Sikh relics, especially their movement in history, present custodians, details about their size and material has been done so far. Some of the relics of the Sikh gurus have been lost forever and some other have decayed and are beyond repair”.
He said, “A majority of the relics that are on display in the yatra have been authenticated by the centre. Authentication has been done on the basis of historical documents and evidences that are available in authentic books on the Sikh religion and history”.
“According to the Mahan Kosh, the most authentic Sikh encyclopedia written by Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha, these relics were handed over to Nabha’s royal family by descendents of Peer Buddhu shah. Bhai Kahan Singh authenticated this 100 years ago and how can US-based Haider, an eighth generation descendant of Shah, claim that these relics have been in the custody of his family for the past 330 years,” he contended. “Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha had also mentioned about few more relics, but they are now missing,” he added.
Prof Dhillon said, “Khanjar, Tir di mukhi, dhhal da phul and hukamnama are among the missing relics. The centre would certainly make endeavours to locate these relicsa. I also request other historians to conduct a search for them.”
The Centre, he said, had initiated a project for the documentation of relics of the Sikh gurus.
A team, comprising Sukhpal Singh, Salinder Singh, Prof Gunbir Singh Brar and Prof Balwinder Singh Dhillon, had been travelling extensively for the past three years to document these relics on the professional and academic norms. Sukhpal and Salinder said, “We have completed our field work in which we took recourse to photography, videography and interviews.
The first volume of documentation of relics of the Sikh Gurus would be published soon.”