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Gold walls for Bangla Sahib Gurdwara
Critics say money could have been used for educating community kids
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 16
If all goes according to the plan, the main prayer hall of the historic Bangla Sahib Gurdwara in the Capital will soon shine with yellow metal.

Around 125 kg of gold, costing nearly Rs 23.75 crore (as per the current market rate) will be required for the ambitious project.

The gold will be crafted in form of fixed-sized plates, which would be finally joined together and will adorn the walls of the religious place that is very close to Delhi’s commercial hub, Connaught Place.

The first lot of 30 kg of gold was handed over by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) to Baba Harbans Singh - who has launched a kar seva (voluntary service) to make the project a reality - on Friday.

DSGMC chief Paramjit Singh Sarna says the work will be completed in around 18 months and will be done in phases to ensure that devotees are not put to any discomfort.

The gold plates will be fixed at a height of six feet from the ground to prevent any damage to them. The entire inside portion of the main hall would be covered by gold. The outer portion of the dome of the gurdwara is already gold-plated.

The move has, however, sparked off a debate, with critics saying that the money required for the project could have been spent on education of community children and other welfare works.

“It is a sheer waste of resources that can be used to uplift the condition of riot victims,” said Jarnail Singh, author of the now famous book on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots “I Accuse..”.

Sarna’s rival in politics and the head of the Delhi unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Manjit Singh GK, says the wise move would have been to educate the community kids with the donation. But Sarna is unfazed. Lashing out at Manjit, he said: “He is jealous of the good work done by us for the Sikh community.” Cost, says Sarna, is not an issue.

Some portion of the gold has been donated by managing bodies of various schools runs by the DSGMC in Delhi.

The community members are making donations, he added.

In the past, the DSGMC had gifted a golden “palki” to Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan.

Bangla Sahib was built in 1783 and is associated with the Eighth Sikh Master, Guru Har Krishan. Originally a bungalow stood at the site, hence the name “Bangla Sahib.”





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