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Sikh News SGPC Panel Trashes UNESCO Dossier


Jun 1, 2004
SGPC panel trashes UNESCO dossier

AMRITSAR: The dossier once supplied to the UNESCO to solicit world heritage status for Harmandar Sahib is full of blunders, the SGPC panel has concluded, and recommended that the demand not be renewed under the same set of guidelines. The dossier is not in tune with Sikh doctrinal principles as it carries erroneous and contradictory perspective of certain Sikh ethos, the panel states.

The then SGPC General Secretary Kiranjot Kaur had got the dossier prepared by a Delhi based expert, Gurmeet Rai. The SGPC and an NRI Sikh had shared the Rs 40 lakh costs.
After supplying the dossier to UNESCO through the Union Ministry, the SGPC had withdrawn the same in 2005, in wake of a major controversy over the issue.

The issue has returned to haunt the Sikh body with the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission (SGJC) listing a petition of 2006 for hearing. Petitioner Kanwarpal Singh of Dal Khalsa had sought the disqualification of all SGPC functionaries responsible for supplying the dossier to UNESCO. He had also sought to recover Rs 40 lakh incurred on preparing the dossier from the committee functionaries, with interest.
Asked to comment, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said that a final decision would be taken shortly, after examining the panel report.

The panel comprising Sikh scholars Dr Jasbir Singh Sabar, Pirthipal Singh Kapoor, Dr Gurnek Singh and former SGPC Secretary Waryam Singh has prepared the report. Punjabi University V-C Dr Jaspal Singh, Dr Jodh Singh and Prof Balwant Singh Dhillon were also on the committee.

The panel had also consulted a team of senior lawyers headed by Kanwaljit Singh. September 1 is the next date of hearing.

The panel report remarks that the dossier was contrary to the spirit of the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925, under which the SGPC is governed. Among the most serious objections, the panel found that remarks such as * Sikh ideology is an imitation of Hindu, Islam and Buddhism, mixing up Sikh religion with culture, describing the temporal seat of Akal Takht as part of Akal Bungas, referring a Hukamnama as speech of Guru, describing the Dasam Granth as another scripture of Sikh religion, drawing a comparison of Om with Iqoamkar, using derogatory terminology for holy sarovar and practice of baptism etc * were offensive.

The panel also cites the move of seeking heritage status by accepting the UNESCO guidelines of appointing two parallel heritage committees of outsiders, by ignoring the fact that no non-baptized Sikh could become the member of any such committee directly or indirectly related to the affairs of Harmandar Sahib.
It also rejects the idea of making Harmandar Sahib more popular by getting it listed as a heritage site under UNESCO. The holy shrine already figures among the five most famous sites in the world, it states.


Hardip Singh

Jan 14, 2009
Not a new thing for our great people at SGPC. They are habtiual in making these mistakes over and over again. They put non-SIKHS on panels to fight our cases and the results are there. Same thing was once done by pro-Badals at DSGMC(During Mr Avtar Singh Hit's time), when he put some south Indian to translate SGGS jee in other Indian languages. One who does not have any knowledge of our religions basics, you can very well imagine our fate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
A stupid question I am sure from a person with many serious limlitations. But when does this corrosive influence of Badal end? Who keeps this dynasty in power? It is demoralizing to read so many of these examples day after day. Don't forget that I entered into this awareness only about 4 years ago, even less. It is mystifying!

In the US we have the Energizer Bunny, the battery that never dies but keeps on going. Badal and his family are like batteries that never loose their charge.
Feb 19, 2007
Delhi India
Narayanjot ji,
Badal, his family and his party are in power in the state and SGPC by democratic means so they cannot be faulted on that account. It is a different matter that they use unethical and questionable means to manipulate the electorate.

Punjab has slid back in all parameters during the last 4 decades. The pride of being a resident of Punjab is absent in which was so prominent upto the 70s is now completely absent. People want to migrate out of Punjab and residing abroad or in other metropolitan cities of India no longer dream of settling in Punjab. There is a flight of talent from Punjab. The cities are dilapidated and filthy (Except to some extent Amritsar and the suburb of Mohali). The somewhat better condition of Amritsar and Durbar Sahib is thanks only to some Non resident Indians who have taken upon themselves to spruce up the area.

The Govt of Punjab is making no efforts for development. Punjab is rapidly taking to ritualism and superstitions, alcoholism and drugs, which is totally counter to the teachings of gurus. It is strange to see even Amritdhari Sikhs proudly consuming alcohol. And the very few who do not are sniggered at.

Amarinder Singh also squandered the opportunity while in power. He just went hammer and tongs at Badal and family while in power to the exclusion of all development concerns.

I am sure that Gurmeet Rai’s Dossier would have been approved by SGPC at that time without anyone having taken the trouble to even read it. Someone would have proposed that it be approved and it would have been done with the customary “Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal!

In our Ardas we beseech the Akal Purakh to look after Nankana Sahib and other Sikh Shrines in Pakistan. Now we may also have to add the names of Harmandir Sahib and other Takhts in Punjab!

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