Thursday, October 5, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

SGPC stalls publication of book
From Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, Oct 4 — In a significant development the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee has decided to review all its publications pertaining to Sikhism including the controversial ‘Sachi Saakhi’, authored by national professor of Sikhism late Sardar Kapur Singh.

The third edition of ‘Sachi Saakhi’, which carries some objectionable references to Master Tara Singh, a former president of Shiromani Akali Dal and other Sikh leaders is at the binding state at the moment. Bibi Jagir Kaur, SGPC chief said ‘Sachi Saakhi’ would not be released until it was reviewed by a sub-committee of Sikh intellectuals.

Ms Kiranjot Kaur, an SGPC member from the ruling party had raised serious objections over ‘Sachi Saakhi’ and in a letter to Bibi Jagir Kaur, had urged that the SGPC should not publish a third edition of the book.

A decision to review publications was taken at Dharm Parchar Committee meeting, presided over by Bibi Jagir Kaur in Teja Singh Samundri Hall.

The SGPC also decided to set up an open Sikh university either at Anandpur Sahib or Amritsar. A committee of experts would be constituted to prepare the project report and all the educational institutes of the SGPC would be affiliated to the university. The decision to start a Sikh university was taken during the tercentenary celebrations of the Khalsa. Budgetary allocations would be made in the next budget for the Sikh university.

A sum of Rs 4.20 crore has been released for starting construction of a medical college at Shahbad Markanda in Haryana.

The Dharm Parchar Committee has also decided to open Sikh missionary centres in all the states including Nagpur, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh for propagation of Sikhism.

Bibi Jagir Kaur said the SGPC would open book centres in all major towns for propagation of Sikhism, and give a Rs 500 award to any granthi who imparted religious training to ten students in villages.

However, she evaded a direct question about pilferage of Rs two lakh from a strongroom by an SGPC member. She claimed she had not yet read the report submitted by Mr Hardalbir Singh Shah, general secretary, Ms Kiranjot Kaur and Mr Jaswinder Singh — both SGPC members who held Dr Gurbachan Singh Bachan, SGPC secretary responsible for violation of rules in making a payment.

Replying to a question, Bibi Jagir Kaur admitted that there was a shortage of raagis in the SGPC and added that the SGPC would organise a workshop for imparting ‘gurmat sangeet’ training at various places.

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