January 15, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Amritsar Sahib: Now the rare Sikh manuscripts, documents, articles and literature that are enhancing the grace of Sikh reference library will soon be available just a click away.
According to a project initiated by Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) the treasures in the Sikh reference library established in 1946, will now be available online as the Sikh body is going to get all those documents digitised.
Nonetheless, losing hope of getting back a substantial number of other priceless documents of the Gurus’ era, about which it is said that they were looted by the Indian Army or CBI during the June 1984 military invasion of Darbar Sahib complex, the SGPC has appealed to the people to donate any such documentation related to Sikh history in their possession to enrich the library.
SGPC’s chief secretary Roop Singh reportedly said their continuous appeals bore fruit when devotees donated books, documents and rare manuscripts related to Sikhism.
“The digitisation process is under way. Till date, around 80 per cent of our prized possessions have been scanned and digitised. Our motive is to make these available online so that the devotees can access those on their mobile phones or PCs,” he adds.
Though it was almost destroyed during Indian Army’s attack in 1984, the library still has a mammoth collection of 25,000 books, magazines, newspapers, periodicals on Sikh religion and history, besides 600 handwritten ‘saroops’ (Shri Guru Granth Sahib) and a repository of over 1,500 rare manuscripts, including copies of the Adi Granth, Damdami Bir (dated Bikrami 1739), a number of handwritten Hukmnamas (some bearing signatures of Sikh Gurus), and a few rare documents pertaining to Indian sub-continent’s struggle for independence, reads a quote from a report published in an English vernacular.
It is widely believed that during the military invasion of Darbar Sahib complex in June 1984, the library’s material was jointly looted by the CBI and Indian Army. Consistently since then the Indian Army officials maintained that the library had caught fire during the exchange of fire, the SGPC however claims that the Army deliberately put the “empty library” on fire after taking the rare and invaluable material away in gunny bags.
Moreover, it is maintained by the SGPC that it had pleaded with the Defense ministry umpteen times and even approached the offices of the Indian PM and President to recover the material, but in vain.
Meanwhile, Roop Singh reportedly said that “Our pleas to return the literature were never heard. If it is believed that the Army or the government has those documents, little care must have been taken to preserve those. Those must have got destroyed by now,” he added to his statement.
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