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Controversial Controversy Over Birs: Akal Takht Chief Summons Warring Parties


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Akal Takht chief summons warring parties on July 22
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 17
Taking serious note of the issue of printing of some ‘birs’ of Guru Granth Sahib by an NRI, the Akal Takht has summoned all the parties involved in the matter during a meeting of five Sikh high priests on July 22.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said, “The matter of printing birs with gold-enriched ink is linked to the respect of Guru Granth Sahib and it should not be given political colour. All Sikh organisations should refrain from going to the media over the issue.”

This statement of the Jathedar was apparently aimed at the war of words between the SGPC and the DSGMC that began after the controversy. He said a three-member committee formed by the SGPC to investigate the matter had submitted its report to the Akal Takht and the five Sikh high priests would discuss it at their meeting on July 22. The committee comprises Bhai Mal Singh, Giani Bharpur Singh and Bhai Mann Singh. He said whosoever was guilty in the matter would be punished.

The Jathedar urged the DSGMC and other Sikh outfits who have called a meeting in this regard in Ludhiana on July 19 to call off the meeting. “They should cancel the meeting and instead send their representative to the meeting of Sikh high priests to present their side of the story, besides giving suggestions over the issue,” he said.

Responding to another query over the “rivalry” between the SGPC and the DSGMC, he said SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar and DSGMC chief Paramjit Singh Sarna should work together for the welfare of the community.

It may be noted here that an NRI and his Phagwara-based aide had got some birs printed from a private publisher whose identity is not known. The birs printed in golden letters were given at historic gurdwara in Sang Dhesian village near Goraya, Gurdwara Sukhchain Sahib, Phagwara — both under SGPC control — and Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Model Town, Phagwara. These birs reportedly had some spelling mistakes, which sparked a row.

The SGPC has the exclusive rights for publication of Guru Granth Sahib worldwide. The Jagat Jot Sri Guru Granth Sahib Act promulgated by the state government in 2008 also banned printing of Guru Granth Sahib by any private publisher except the SGPC.



1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
A related story

DSGMC to clarify stand on birs

AMRITSAR: Complying with the directions of Akal Takht, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has decided to defer its scheduled meeting in Ludhiana and has instead agreed to clarify its position on birs with mistakes before Sikh high priests during their scheduled meeting on July 22.

DSGMC president Paramjit Singh Sarna said on Monday that when he noticed the mistakes, he brought these to the notice of SGPC, but they didn't take any action following which, DSGMC was forced to plan a meeting. He said DSGMC would now raise its objections before the Sikh clerics during their scheduled meeting.

Meanwhile, Dal Khalsa, SAD (Panch Pardani) and other organizations and representatives of various Sikh bodies shot off a letter to Akal Takht jathedar taking exception to his directions. The letter signed by eight organizations, including SAD (Delhi) head Parmjit Singh Sarna, has blamed the SGPC president for shielding the accused.

The letter has named Surinder Singh Dhesi, a UK-based NRI, and father-son duo Sulkhan Singh Johal and Manbir Singh Johal from Phagwara, who allegedly got the birs printed from Mumbai with the help of a Ludhiana-based publisher. The letter has also alleged that before publishing the birs, verbal permission was sought from SGPC head.

Releasing the contents of the letter, Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said, "We have postponed the congregation for a few days on the directives of Akal Takht". He said their representatives would present the case of sacrilege of birs of Guru Granth Sahib with proofs in the forthcoming meet of five jathedars on July 22. "If the jathedars would do justice, then we would call off our meet, otherwise we are open to holding it in near future," he said.


Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Jul 4, 2004
Twist and Turn.....twist and turn..and gyrate...the new Mamba Dance of the High Priests as they dance to save their political Masters "A** from getting burnt...but they have failed to learn that....You can FOOL some of the people some of the time...You can FOOL all people some of the time. You can FOOL soem people ALL the time.....BUT you CANNOT FOOL ALL the people ALL the time !!..no matter how much you Bhangra or mamba...

The LAW is clear...SGPC got this law to exclusive printing/publishing/retailing/stoarge/transporting of SGGS via its BADAL ALLY to defeat the DGMC as supplier/transporter of SGGS Birs and at the same time MONOPOLISE the huge buisness of SGGS bir production factory.

SO the very FIRST thing that SHOULD have been done MONTHS AGO was file a SUIT under this law against the person/s involved........BUT the SGPC remained Totally SILENT. Thus the other party had to go to the MEDIA and expose this....still the SGPC kept its head buried in the sand (hoping the storm will blow over or the weight of the carpet will be enough to bury the issue)....and NOW when the Other Party announced a PANTHIC MEET and RALLY at LUDHIAN on july 20 (Today)..did the AKAL TAKHAT spring into action. The First directive was to declare the July 20 rally ILLEGAL and Banned...and announce a meeting of their own...this is called BUYING TIME...plain and simple..BUT theres only so much "time" one can buy...

Hardip Singh

Jan 14, 2009
This monopoly Act for publishing etc. of SGGS jee itself is highly objectionable. As far my knowledge goes, this Act is limited to state of Punjab only as was passed by Govt. of Punjab and was neither rectified and accepted by Indian Parliment nor was ever Published in the Indian Gazette, which are mandatery requirements for an all India act. Moreover, rest of the world coountries are also not under this act.
Hence, first as such any Sarrop of SGGS jee could be printed any where outside Punjab but should be correct to 100% (No questions of any errors/ additions/ subtractions etc.)



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