Chandigarh, April 7
Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann today told the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) the state was willing to take the responsibility of installing the state-of-the-art broadcast/communication technologies at Darbar Sahib in Amritsar to broadcast ‘Gurbani’. The government offered to bear the entire cost of setting up the infrastructure. Rejecting the offer, the SGPC asked the CM to concentrate on “fulfilling own responsibilities, instead of indulging in tasks pertaining to religion”.
In a video message, Mann said: “The government can provide all possible help in disseminating the ‘Sarb Sanji Gurbani’ across the globe with an aim to spread the universal message of ‘Sarbat da Bhala’…. We are ready to discharge any duty assigned by the SGPC.”
Will help spread Guru’s message
The govt can provide help in disseminating ‘Sarb Sanji Gurbani’ with an aim to spread message of ‘Sarbat da Bhala’…. We will discharge any duty assigned by SGPC” —Bhagwant Mann, Chief minister
Focus on govt, Keep off religious affairs
Instead of indulging in tasks pertaining to religion, the CM should concentrate on fulfilling govt liabilities. SGPC is capable of managing gurdwara affairs. — Harjinder Singh Dhami, SGPC president
CM Mann urged the SGPC to relay “Gurbani kirtan” from Darbar Sahib on various communication platforms, including satellite TV, radio, FM, social media and mobile apps instead of limiting its reach to a single medium.
“We will provide the latest infrastructure/technology in this regard at Sri Darbar Sahib, including latest cameras and broadcasting equipment to relay Gurbani kirtan through other digital platforms such as YouTube, mobile apps, religious channels or any other channel that intends to telecast the same, instead of relaying it only from one medium so as to enhance its reach across the world,” said the Chief Minister.
The Punjab Government’s offer came in the backdrop of the recent controversy surrounding the alleged involvement of private channel PTC’s MD and others in wrongful restraint, criminal force to outrage modesty, fraud and criminal conspiracy against participants in a beauty contest.
Terming it just another attempt at drawing political mileage, SGPC chief Harjinder Singh Dhami said the government should refrain from interfering in the religious affairs and instead concentrate on fulfilling its responsibilities of providing services to the people.
“The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee is an elected representative body of Sikh Panth and is well aware of its duties. With the support of sangat (devotees), the Sikh body is capable and aware of how to propagate religion and manage the gurdwara affairs. The SGPC has already started working on the modalities to launch its own channel, as directed by the Akal Takht, to transmit live Gurbani kirtan from the Golden Temple. We have constituted a seven-member panel to work on it and the move would be taken accordingly,” he said.
Following an FIR against channel’s management over immoral activities on the pretext of holding a beauty pageant, objections were raised by the SGPC members during its budget session on March 27 over continuing with the channel for live telecast of Gurbani from the Golden Temple. The channel had entered into a contract with the committee on telecast rights of Gurbani and other religious events till 2023.
Giving a piece of advice to the CM, the SGPC president said: “Instead of unnecessarily indulging in the tasks pertaining to religion, the CM should concentrate on fulfilling the government liabilities. We have been repeatedly asking for grant-in-aid for aided schools run by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and scholarships meant for SC category. This has put an extra burden of over Rs 24 crore on Guru’s golak. We will appreciate it if Mann spares a thought for it? Similarly, there has been a long-pending demand for widening of passages leading to the Golden Temple, but in vain.”
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