Punjab Cabinet for banning private publication of Granth Sahib

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Chandigarh, Oct 10 (UNI) In a significant decision, the Punjab Cabinet has given its approval for enacting a law to prevent private publishing houses from printing, publishing and distributing 'Birs' (copies) of Guru Granth Sahib, through the promulgation of an Ordinance.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet held here today. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal chaired the meeting.

This decision of the government comes in the wake of the representations received by the Government from various Sikh organisations, including the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhic Committee (SGPC) that have been demanding a ban on publishing and printing of the scripture by private publishing houses. The SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar had also written a letter to the Chief Minister in this regard.

The SGPC chief had contended that unauthorised private printing, publication, storage and distribution of the scripture was hurting the feelings of the Sikh masses and was violative of the Sikh code of conduct (maryada). The SGPC chief had contended that private publishers did not abide by the 'maryada' while publishing and printing the scripture.

The main objection of the SGPC was against the Amritsar based publishing house, Jeewan Singh, Chattar Singh, which had been in the publishing business for the last three to four decades. The SGPC too is engaged in publishing, printing and distributing of the scripture.

The owners of the publishing house had even been summoned to the Akal Takht, when copies discarded due to printing mistakes were being sold as 'raddi' (scrap). Last week, two properietors of the publishing house were dragged and beaten inside the Golden Temple by certain hardliners when copies of the scripture published by them were not being transported in accordance with the 'maryada' to Delhi.

In another decision, the Cabinet approved the establishment of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University at Fatehgarh Sahib through the promulgation of an ordinance, ' Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University Ordinance, 2007'.

This university is being sponsored by Sri Guru Granth Sahib 4th Centenary Memorial Trust, a constituent unit of the SGPC. The University would house the faculties of the Schools of Emerging Technologies, Basic Sciences, Management, Social Sciences, Arts, Languages, Engineering, Architecture, Law and Social Justice.


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