Amritsar, Jan 13(ANI): The sale of kirpans (a ceremonial dagger or sword sported by devout Sikhs) has increased in Amritsar, as devotees and tourists have been acquiring it as a blessed and decorative item for their homes.
With annual turnover of 12 million dollars, the cottage industry of Kirpan and other traditional sharp-edged weapons in the city caters to the needs of the buyers at home as well as abroad.
There are around 10,000 skilled artisans engaged in the manufacture of kirpans, and this includes those working in small units that supply allied accessories to the larger units.
"The price of kirpans has gone high. But, the customers don't bother about the prices as they have a craze for keeping kirpans in their living rooms as a decoration piece. They have nothing to do with the quality of the material. The use of kirpans and swords as weapons is no more," said Amardeep Singh, a sword manufacturer in Amritsar.
These conventional weapons are prepared in various cities across the country for religious and customary purposes, but Amrtisar is famous for the superior quality of the products. he present day kirpan in vogue is quite different from the earlier ones.
The difference is in quality and weight. The kirpan, which used to be available from three kilograms of weight, today weighs just 600 grams.
Apart from the Sikhs, Muslims use swords during the Muharram procession while Hindus worship them during Durga Puja as a part of Shastra Puja.
"Kirpan has a major role to play in Sikh history. It has a close association with the Guru Granth Sahib and Sikhism. As we are going to have 'Prakash' of Sri Guru Granth Sahib at our home we are buying a Kirpan from Amritsar. The Kirpans of Amritsar are very famous. Its quality is very good. We purchased Kirpans from here earlier as well," said Jasveer Singh, a NRI from Toronto, Canada.
Parag, a visitor from Maharashtra, said: "I am buying this sword, as I want to take along a memorabilia from Amritsar. We worship sword during the Durga Puja. Amritsar is sacred and peaceful place of worship."
With the increase in number of tourists visiting Amritsar, the retail business of swords, Kirpans alongside other Sikh ornaments and novelties has become a lucrative proposition.
Wholesalers have also taken up the trade of Kirpans and swords. By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)