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Punjab Govt To Amend Sikh Gurdwara Act To 'Ensure Free Telecast Rights' Of Gurbani From Golden Temple

The chief minister described it as the need of the hour to disseminate the 'Sarb Sanji Gurbani' across the globe with the aim of spreading the universal message of ‘welfare of all’.

Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann
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The AAP-led Punjab government on Sunday said it will amend the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925 to ensure free telecast rights of Gurbani from the Golden Temple. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, the apex religious body for Sikhs, reacted sharply to the move, asking the government not to interfere in religious matters.

In an official statement issued here, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said the agenda 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. Mann claimed that the decision is in consonance with the feelings 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 aim of spreading the universal message of ‘welfare of all’. Mann 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 will also allow people to get a glimpse of the Sri Harmandar Sahib on their TVs and other electronic gadgets.

Reacting to the decision, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief H S Dhami said the Punjab government should not interfere in the religious matters of Sikhs and that it has no right to amend the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925.

It is not the first time Mann has referred to the issue of the telecast of Gurbani. Last year too, he had urged the SGPC to allow the telecast of the Golden Temple Gurbani on other channels. Currently, the sacred hymn is being telecast by a private TV channel.

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