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SAD, Congress spar over 10th Guru’s picture in govt advertisement

Rejecting the charge of sacrilege, the state government said the SAD allegation that a painting of Napoleon had been morphed for the advertisement purpose was “totally ridiculous”.

punjab Updated: Dec 25, 2017 10:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
advertisements,Shiromani Akali Dal,Guru Gobind Singh
The SAD accused the state government of committing sacrilege by “swapping an image of Guru Gobind Singh’s face with that of French statesman Napoleon Bonaparte in a computer-generated portrait published in newspapers.(Representative image )

The Congress and the opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Sunday traded barbs over a picture of 10th Sikh master Guru Gobind Singh in advertisements issued by the state government as part of the 350th birth anniversary celebrations.

The SAD accused the state government of committing sacrilege by “swapping an image of Guru Gobind Singh’s face with that of French statesman Napoleon Bonaparte in a computer-generated portrait published in newspapers.

SAD senior vice-president Daljit Singh Cheema said the painting in question, which was being shown as of the Guru in the advertisement, was actually that of Napoleon.

Demanding strict action against the erring officials and the advertising agency, SAD senior vice-president Daljit Singh Cheema said the painting in question, which was being shown as of the Guru in the advertisement, was actually that of Napoleon.

“I wonder why the state government committed this grave sin of passing off the tampered painting of Napoleon as Guru Sahib’s when plenty of paintings of the 10th Guru were available,” he said in a statement, demanding an apology.

Rejecting the charge of sacrilege, the state government said the SAD allegation that a painting of Napoleon had been morphed for the advertisement purpose was “totally ridiculous”.

“The picture had been sourced from a Sikhism website, which was in public domain. It had neither been created nor modified by the government in any manner. All the pictures/illustrations being used over the years were the imaginative creations of artists, for illustrative purposes only,” said a government spokesperson.

The Akalis, who claim to be the custodians of Sikh religion, are obviously completely ignorant about these basic facts and have merely reacted on a media report without verifying its authenticity, said the spokesperson, demanding that it was the SAD which needed to apologise to the people of Punjab for trying to politicise such a sombre occasion with their petty allegations.

The spokesperson said it was time for the SAD to adhere to its decision to keep such religious occasions apolitical in letter and in spirit, and not pay mere lip service to the same.

First Published: Dec 25, 2017 10:08 IST