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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

BJP’s RP Singh wades into row over Golden Temple replica

The replica being built by South Delhi Municipal Corporation was dismantled by members of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee after they found it was against the tenets of Sikhism.

Written by Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi |
Updated: June 23, 2021 9:45:18 am
BJP’s RP Singh wades into row over Golden Temple replicaDSGPC members at Bharat Darshan Park in Delhi's Punjabi Bagh. (Express photo)

The dismantling of the replica of the Golden Temple at Punjabi Bagh Bharat Darshan Park was completed on Tuesday, said Manjinder Singh Sirsa, president of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management committee.

The replica being built by South Delhi Municipal Corporation was dismantled by members of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee after they found it was against the tenets of Sikhism.

BJP National spokesperson R P Singh however said the issue is being politicised. “We in our religion do not allow statues of our gurus but such replicas can be found elsewhere too.”

“There is a replica at Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport, Amritsar also. I have tweeted the picture,” he said.

The Bharat Darshan Park is spread over 8.5 acres, and replicas of 17 popular monuments from across the country including Mysore Palace, Charminar and Khajuraho Temple are being built here from scrap material.

More than 30 members of the committee as well as volunteers reached the site on Monday and began the dismantling work, in which they also got support from the civic body, Sirsa had said.

“Tenets of Sikh religion do not allow religious replicas anywhere. The sanctity of the place cannot be maintained at such places. What if tomorrow someone starts worshipping here or enters the place with shoes. These are set principles that have to be obeyed inside such structures,” he said.

Mayor of South MCD Mukesh Suryan said the structure has now been kept on one side and can be fitted again as it comprises nuts and bolts. “We have not taken any final decision on this project as we will discuss it with prominent scholars and learned people from the Sikh community.”

“It is unfortunate that Sirsa is using religious symbols for his politics. His politics in Delhi is getting over, so he is trying to take political mileage from it,” he said.

He said the project was conceived more than two years ago. “It was in the public domain that it was being built. There was no resistance then. But now it is being done so that politics can be done over it,” he said.

Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri had in January last year laid the foundation stone for the park, with the theme ‘unity in diversity’.

Developed on the lines of the Waste to Wonder Theme Park in Nizamuddin, it will host replicas of Charminar, Gateway of India, Konark Temple, Nalanda ruins, Mysore Palace, Meenakshi Temple, Hawa Mahal, Hampi ruins, Victoria Memorial, Sanchi Stupa, Gol Gumbaz and Ajanta Ellora Caves, among other sites. The project is likely to be completed this year.

The entire project is estimated to cost around Rs 18-20 crore.

The replicas are built using scrap waste such as vehicles, fans, rods, iron sheets and nuts and bolts gathering dust in municipal stores. There will be smart illumination of all the monuments and a walking track of 1.5 km in the park, besides a children’s play area.

Among other features, it will have landscape designs like waterfalls, fountains, ponds, amphitheatres for cultural events, a food court offering major cuisines of India, audio tours, and cultural showcase and photography stalls, the official said.

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