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Controversial 210 years on, Golden Temple gates removed for repairs

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Archived_Member16, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. Archived_Member16

    Archived_Member16
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    210 years on, Golden Temple gates
    removed for repairs
    Dharmendra Rataul - Express India -Posted: Jul 05, 2010 at 0556 hrs

    Amritsar Sikh bodies protest move; SGPC says the doors will be back in a year


    Amid controversies related to their origin, the centuries old and huge gates at Darshani Deori, which serve as entrance to the sanctum sanctorum of Golden Temple, were removed on Sunday for “preservation”. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) decided to remove the gates as they were in need of immediate repairs. The sandalwood base had started crumbling and the ivory carving and golden screws on the doors had suffered damage after withstanding the vagaries of time.

    Since their installation in 1800 AD by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, this was for the first time that the gates were unhooked. While these traditionally-decorated doors have been at the Golden Temple for the last 210 years, a section of historians believes the gates were originally from Gujarat’s Somnath Temple, which were looted by Afghan invaders in the 12th century, and which were later brought back by the Sikhs from Afghan hands.

    A few Sikh bodies have raised suspicion that the doors are being removed to be sent back to Somnath under pressure from the BJP, which shares power with the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab. They say the Sikh warriors, after possessing the precious gates from the Afghans, had offered them to Hindus but the Somnath management had refused to accept the doors, terming them “impure” as these had been looked at by the Afghans.

    Among those protesting the SGPC move is SAD (Amritsar) chief Simranjit Singh Mann, who is against the removal or any “tampering” with the gates. He is supported by several radical Sikh bodies, leading to a new row. The gates were to be removed last year but the decision was postponed due to the controversies surrounding the issue.

    SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar, and the five Sikh high priests, including Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, have rubbished the theories. “The doors are sacred and need immediate repair, which will be carried out by experts and craftsmen, being requisitioned from all over the world. The work will be carried out inside the Golden Temple premises and the gates will not be taken out of the complex,” said Makkar.

    After their removal, the doors were taken to “safe enclosures”. Makkar said he did not want to comment anything on the origin of the gates. “We do not want to get into any controversy. The gates need repair and we are duty bound to restore them to their traditional pristine glory,” said Makkar. He said some leaders were making an issue out of nothing.

    He chided members of the Guru Granth Sahib Satkar Committee who were sitting outside the complex to see that the gates were not taken out. “The gates will not leave the Golden Temple complex,” he reiterated, adding that political leaders and some religious pundits are making misleading statements even though the gates are now property of the Panth.

    Accompanied by Damdami Taksal Chief Harnam Singh Khalsa, Makkar said kar sewa for the repair work would be carried out under the supervision of Baba Kashmira Singh Bhuriwale. “A five-member committee headed by Golden Temple head priest Jaswinder Singh will overview the repair work. Gates made of silver have replaced the original gates till the repair is completed, which may take a year,” he added. Baba Kashmira Singh said they would try and complete the work within a year.

    source:
    http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/210-years-on-golden-temple-gates-removed-for-repairs/642354/
     

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  3. Vikram singh

    Vikram singh
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    The SGPC should exercise transperancy in all such sensitive matters and call upon a sarbat khalsa to know the opinion of the khalsa panth / sangat after all the matter is linked to sikh history and unparallel sacrifices the sikh gurus and rulers / followers had made in the past for the entire universe and mankind. In the event if there is a hidden agenda to hand over the gates to the Hindus as per the dictats of BJP or any other political party/ies the same should be opposed in a peaceful manner by exposing the SGPC as well as those who are supporting such unholy decisions.
     
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  4. Archived_Member16

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    Doors of Darshani Deodi
    Controversy over their origin refuses to die down
    Varinder Singh
    Tribune News Service


    Amritsar, July 7
    The controversy over the contention of SGPC chief Avtar Singh that the doors of the Darshani Deodi did not originate from the Somnath Temple has refused to die down with Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) chief Simranjit Singh Mann and veteran Army officer Brig KS Kang (retd) asserting that the doors had their origin in the Somnath Temple and that these were brought by Sikhs.
    <TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=3 width=200 align=right><TBODY><TR><TD width="100%">[​IMG]
    The Darshani Deodi doors at the Golden Temple. Photo: Vishal Kumar



    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
    Apprehending that the SGPC was in the process of “handing the silver-carved doors back to the Somnath Temple Trust”, he said a delegation of his party would inspect the doors on July 9.

    After the replacement of the original set of doors for their repair, the SGPC authorities have displayed these silver-carved doors in a huge glass box near Akal Takht with a promise that these would be repaired by experts in full view of devotees and would be kept under round-the-clock guard.

    Baba Kashmir Singh, in charge of the ‘kar sewa’ for the repair of doors, has asserted that there was no scope of any mischief and foolproof arrangements for the security and safety of the doors had been ensured.

    “The SGPC chief may show his ignorance, but the fact is that the doors were looted from the Somnath Temple by Mughal invaders led by Mahmud of Ghazni. These were taken back by Sikh General Hari Singh Nalwa. Avtar Singh may not remember but the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai had expressed his intention to take these back from the Golden Temple but his plea was flatly refused by the then Akali Dal chief Jagdev Singh Talwandi. During his tenure as the Union Home Minister, LK Advani, too, had lobbied hard to take these doors back to Gujarat,” said Mann.

    On the other hand, Chandigarh-based Brig KS Kang (retd), who claimed to have undertaken extensive research on the subject, said though the doors were looted from the Somnath Temple and were taken to Ghazni in Afghanistan by Mahmud of Ghazni-led Mughal invaders in 1026, these were brought back by 43 Bengal Native Infantry during its Afghanistan expedition under the command of Commander Stacy in 1842.

    “These doors were first brought to Ferozepur and were subsequently taken to Amritsar after Maharaja Sher Singh had accorded safe passage to the regiment under British rule. In fact, these doors were offered to the Somnath Temple Trust but it had refused to take these back on religious grounds and were installed in the Golden Temple. The doors had remained at Ghazni for about 800 years. Everything is written in black and white in the regimental history,” said Kang while talking to The Tribune on the phone.

    source:
    http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20100708/punjab.htm#15
     

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