I just read the following news of spending meagre Sikh resources on gold-plating Gurdwara Domes, Palkis, or building gurdwaras with marble etc. instead of using these resources for urgent useful purpose of establishing a first class Sikh media of TV, Radio and Newspaper. Have we not suffered enough for the lack of Sikh's response to the biased and maligned propaganda against Sikhs from every body, for the lack of Sikh's own media to counter or reponse. ? What do you think of this? M. S. Chawla Producer of English language panel discussion TV programs since 1993 in Washington, DC area, with panelists of American movers and shakers of Washington, DC USA. Date: 03/30/2006 News Source: http://www.tribuneindia.com Email this Article Tribune News Service An artist gives finishing touches to the gold plating of the sanctum sanctorum of Darbar Sahib, Tarn Taran, on Wednesday. - Photo by Rajiv Sharma Tarn Taran, March 29 The four-century-old Darbar Sahib is glittering more than usual. With almost 3 quintals of gold (about Rs 2.40 crore) used for gilding, first time after Maharaja Ranjit Singh, it is the second Sikh shrine after the Golden Temple where a huge quantity of gold has been used. The domes and outer portions of the temple have been given new gold-gild copper sheets. This work of exquisite craftsmanship is being given finishing touches to mark the quadricentennial (400) death anniversary of Guru Arjan Dev, the founder of Tarn Taran. It falls in June this year. The main entrance to the sanctum sanctorum called Darshani Deori has also started shimmering. The gurdwara got constructed by the Guru stands on the side of a large tank. According to Baba Amrik Singh of Dera Baba Jagtar Singh Kar Sewawale, at least 35 kg of gold would be used for the "palki" (palanquin). Mr Jaswant Singh, foreman, said though Muslim and Hindu artistes had been working round the clock to meet the deadline of Baisakhi, a large number of Sikh artistes have also made great contributions to complete the work. More than 30 artisans have been on the job to complete the gigantic task. Baba Mohinder Singh said artistes from Banaras had been called for the job. The traditional "meenakari" is also being done on the interiors of the sanctum sanctorum while gold plates on the exterior were also being replaced. Darbar Sahib is an important centre of Sikh pilgrimage 24 km south of Amritsar. It was founded by Guru Arjan Dev in 1596. Maharaja Ranjit Singh visited the shrine in 1802. The Maharaja and his grandson Kanvar Nau Nihal Singh had donated large quantities of gold to have the exterior plated with the precious metal. The upper portion of the edifice is covered with goldplated sheets. The lotus dome of the Darbar Sahib was damaged in an earthquake (April 4, 1905). It was rebuilt with an umbrella shaped gold finial on top. A view of the frescos at Darbar Sahib, Tarn Taran, after kar seva. - Tribune photo by Rajiv Sharma Varinder Walia, Tribune News Service Tarn Taran, March 30 At least six frescos of Hindu gods, including Lord Rama and Lord Krishna, which were unique specimens of the Sikh school of art of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh era have been replaced with Sikh paintings during kar seva at Darbar Sahib here. The upper storey would be opened to the Sikh sangat on the 400th death anniversary of Guru Arjan Dev in June this year. The frescos were visible on the upper storey of the sanctum sanctorum of the Sikh shrine before launching the kar seva. However, Baba Amrik Singh of Dera Baba Jagtar Singh Kar Seva Wale, while talking to The Tribune, claimed that he was not aware of any painting belonging to Hindu gods on the upper storey of Darbar Sahib. He said most of the paintings were beyond recognition since these were destroyed due to seepage from the dome. The frescos were unique specimens of the Sikh school of art, completed in 1824 during the regime of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. According to Sikh history, Maharaja Ranjit Singh got the gold-plating and interior decoration of the Darbar Sahib completed by taking personal interest. The other paintings visible at the time of the kar seva were, however, preserved after a lot of painstaking efforts. Now, all 16 paintings which were revived by using a similar style and colours as that of the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, belong to Sikh Gurus, Sikh warriors and religious leaders, including Baba Deep Singh, Bhai Mani Singh, Bhai Ghanaiya, Baba Budhaji, the first head granthi of Harmandar Sahib, four Sahibzadas (sons of Guru Gobind Singh) and Bhai Gurdass. Some of the paintings depict Guru Nanak Dev flanked by Bhai Bala and Bhai Mardana. Jaswant Singh, an artist of Dera Baba Jagtar Singh Kar Seva Wale said specified colours were used to complete the art work and the paintings would last long as efforts had been made to stop seepage in the upper storey. When Dr Kanwarjit Singh Kang, a renowned fresco expert, visited Darbar Sahib, Tarn Taran, in June 1971 in connection with his Ph.D thesis "Mural paintings in the 19th century Punjab", several frescos were intact in the upper storey of the shrine. According to Dr Kang, though originally the paintings were executed sometime in the middle of the 19th century, the dome of the shrine developed cracks during an earthquake in 1905 and was rebuilt again and embellished afresh with murals. In June 1971, the surviving frescos depicted mixed themes, including portraits of Sikh Gurus and scenes from the Hindu mythology.