On Sunday, the AAP-led Punjab government said it will amend the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925 to assure free telecast rights of Gurbani from the Golden Temple. The apex religious body for Sikhs, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, responded snappily to the move, raising a question to the government not to deter in religious matters.
In an official statement issued here, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said the plan for the resolution will be cleared at a Cabinet meeting slated for Monday. He said the resolution will be tabled in the Assembly during the special session on June 20.
“In a historic decision aimed at ensuring the free-to-air telecast of sacred Gurbani from Sri Harmandar Sahib, Amritsar, the Punjab government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann will amend the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925,” the statement said.
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Mann claimed that the decision is in accordance with the sentiments of the ‘Sikh Sangat across the globe.
The chief minister described it as the need of the hour to disseminate the ‘Sarb Sanji Gurbani’ across the globe with the drive of spreading the universal memorandum of ‘welfare of all’.
Mann also said Gurbani should be telecast free of cost rather than confining it to a single channel.
He said the move will go a long way in offering an opportunity to the ‘Sangat’ to listen to Gurbani while sitting at home, even in foreign countries.
The chief minister said it would also allow people to glimpse the Sri Harmandir Sahib on their TVs and other electronic gadgets.
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief, H S Dhami, reacting to the decision, said the Punjab government should not impede on the religious concerns of Sikhs and that it has no right to amend the Sikh Gurdwara Act, of 1925.
It is not the first time Mann has referred to the matter of the telecast of Gurbani. Last year too, he had preached the SGPC to authorize the telecast of the Golden Temple Gurbani on other channels.
Presently, the sacred hymn is being telecast by a private TV channel.
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