Canada gurdwaras’ council against plan to print ‘saroops’ abroad

As many as 20 managing committees of gurdwaras in Canada have expressed their disenchantment with the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) over its plan to allow printing of holy ‘saroops’ of Guru Granth Sahib in foreign countries
Golden Temple in Amritsar. (AFP FIle)
Golden Temple in Amritsar. (AFP FIle)
Updated on Aug 30, 2021 12:40 AM IST
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By, Amritsar

As many as 20 managing committees of gurdwaras in Canada have expressed their disenchantment with the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) over its plan to allow printing of holy ‘saroops’ of Guru Granth Sahib in foreign countries.

In a meeting held on August 23, the SGPC executive committee had resolved to set up the presses in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and some European countries, citing the “long-pending demand” of the Sikh diaspora.

Taking exception to the plan, representatives of British Columbia Gurdwaras’ Council comprising 20 shrine bodies, has written to SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur, saying the holy saroops were available as required. “Some people in Canada are misguiding the SGPC that there is dire need for printing saroops there. This is not a reality. If any devotee in Canada wants to install the saroop at home, he or she can contact us. We are able to meet this requirement. Before printing more saroops, there is need to ensure that the existing ones are being given due respect and sanctity,” said Moninder Singh, spokesperson of the council.

As per an edict issued by the Akal Takht in 1998, the rights of printing the saroops are reserved with the SGPC and any other institution seeking to do so has to take permission of the apex gurdwara body.

Canada-based Sikh leaders Ripudaman Singh Malik and Balwant Singh Pandher have been demanding printing of saroops there. Around a year ago, they printed the saroops without taking permission from the SGPC. The Akal Takht had taken a strong notice of this as it angered the Sikhs in Canada. On Takht’s direction, the press and saroops were confiscated from their custody and shifted to a gurdwara in Surrey. The Canadian gurdwara bodies see Malik and Pandher influence behind the SGPC plan.

Malik who runs Khalsa schools in Canada and was acquitted in 1985 Air India Kanishka bombing by Canadian judiciary in 2005, has been in regular touch with some key SGPC office-bearers and officials.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Surjit Singh is a correspondent. He covers politics and agriculture, besides religious affairs and Indo-Pak border in Amritsar and Tarn Taran.

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