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USA SGPC Plans Press To Print Sri Guru Granth Sahib In US

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SGPC plans press in US to print Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhs say waste of funds
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Sukhdeep Kaur

Chandigarh In 2004, a Sikh group had airlifted copies of the holy Guru Granth Sahib from Amritsar to place them in gurdwaras in Canada and North America. One copy each was placed on the aircraft seats, which had a special canopy and mattresses. In April this year, 450 copies of the Guru Granth Sahib were shipped to Italy as “passengers”, seated in the passenger section of the vessel, accompanied by granthis to maintain the sanctity of the holy book.

Keeping in mind the cost involved in undertaking such exercises, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) planned to set up a printing press in the Unites States. The SGPC also earmarked Rs 2.5 crore from its annual budget this year for the same. Dr Ajit Singh Randhawa, father of Nikki Haley, the Governor of South Carolina, had offered to donate land and a building to SGPC for the project. But the religious body, which has applied to the Reserve Bank of India to transfer the money, is yet to get a nod from the Centre.

Stating that their file for money transfer is being shunted between ministries, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said that once set up, the press would go a long way in solving the problem of observing ‘maryada’ while transporting the holy scripture abroad. It would also help meet demand for the Granth among overseas Sikh devotees.

But an online discussion among US Sikhs is questioning the move. “The budget is of Rs 25 million. The money belongs to the community and SGPC should not make a unilateral decision without involving the community or at least a committee of experts on the subject,” said Jatinder Singh Hundal, based in Sacromento, California. He had started the online discussion.

In an email to The Indian Express, Hundal said the staff hired in the US would not be aware of the respect that Guru Granth Sahib deserves as most of the workers would be from non-Sikh background, lest some are flown in by the SGPC from Punjab. “US laws stipulate people working in printing press area have to wear steel toe safety shoes. Would SGPC consider giving exemptions to staff in US? Also, the US labour safety personnel would be regularly visiting these printing presses. Who is going to guarantee that a proper protocol will be followed during these inspections in order not to violate the maryada that SGPC is so worried about,” he asked.

He also contends that at a time when the publishers in the US have outsourced all printing work to China, India, Singapore or Indonesia, it makes no sense for SGPC to bring printing project to the US. “Even, financially speaking, labour rates here do not justify bringing such projects to US. Also, there would not be many takers for the Guru Granth Sahib in the US or Canada. The next generation of Sikhs do not need a hard copy but go online to access the Gurmukhi or translated versions,” he said.

At a time when the SGPC is facing charges of misuse of religious funds, its president Makkar argued that it is a capital investment worth making. “It is not just about printing the Guru Granth Sahib. The press would be used to print books on Sikh prayers, literature and history. It would also publish translated copies for dharam prachar among the new generation Sikhs. We have recently spent Rs 4.5 crore for setting up a printing press in India. The one in the US will come much cheaper,” said Makkar.

http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/sgpc-plans-press-in-us-to-print-guru-granth-sahib-sikhs-say-waste-of-funds/847696/
 

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But an online discussion among US Sikhs is questioning the move. “The budget is of Rs 25 million.
It is a huge money by any standard. Printing in US makes a funny propositions both financially and religiously. Holy granth gets the Holiness when it is placed in Gurudwara. [else it is simply a book that is sold by the Dealers and publishers of Amritsar].
If the religious books are published/printed in India and sold in India or abroad, the Indian firms make profit however, small it may be,;Indians get the benefit. Take this job to US.... Who is going to be benefited?- Americans...and its economy,may be, in minuscule way. But it shall affect the business of Indian publishers who have served the Sikhs in India for long time.It shall just be unjust to make them deprive of that they deserve and that logically belongs to them.I.e the implicit right To publish and print or vice versa.
'SGPC' is a non-serious non-committal organization with Megalomaniacs heading it.
 

Kanwaljit.Singh

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Jan 29, 2011
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One can have as many thoughts and criticisms about this, but unless we personally meet and discuss with the parties involved, it is fruitless. (And kind of converges towards Ninda)

Putting sense into someone is very tough, for you can never be sure you have enough sense yourself.

We may laugh at a dog trying to chase its own tail. But we forget our tails are not attached to our bodies. And we chase them for years.

SGPC is getting into the mould of a regular organization. It should have worked maintaining the model of Khalsa Panth, where everyone is not only eager to do the hard work (Sewa) but is also filled with understanding and wisdom (ਸੁਰਤੀ - ਗਿਆਨਿ).
 

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