Sikh history book back to haunt SGPC

SAD (Delhi) demands action against panel that cleared the book

A controversial history book, Sikh Itihaas (Hindi edition), published by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) a few years ago is back to haunt the religious body. A delegation of Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) today met Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, seeking a ban on the book and action against the authors and SGPC functionaries responsible for printing and distributing it. The book allegedly uses inappropriate adjectives for various Sikh gurus.

The delegation led by SAD (Delhi)'s Punjab head Jaswinder Singh Baliawal and its youth wing Chief Gurmit Singh submitted a memorandum to the jathedar. "We had taken up the matter earlier as well, and the printing of the book had been stopped. But there is still no action against the panel that cleared the derogatory and blasphemous remarks," said Baliawal.

The book was first published during the tenure of Bibi Jagir Kaur as chief of the SGPC and it remained in circulation for the last over eight years. A hue and cry was raised last year when some experts and Sikh bodies pointed numerous "mistakes". Remarks against the ninth guru, Guru Teg Bahadur, wherein he was referred to as a "thief" and the tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh, was described as a "coward", had angered the Sikhs.

The jathedar reportedly assured the delegation that he would seek an explanation from the SGPC, and a panel of experts might be formed to look into the contents of the book. He also assured the delegation that he had already directed a blanket ban on the book, which the SGPC had already executed.

The Paramjit Singh Sarna-led SAD (Delhi) has been demanding to summon SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar to the Akal Takht for allowing the publication of a book.

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