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‘We are in talks with firms in Germany, Netherlands… will buy the best machine’: Delhi Gurdwara Committee Chief Advisor

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee is importing a new computerised machine worth about Rs 8 crore for printing Guru Granth Sahib. The move comes at a time when Punjab is planning to strengthen an anti-blasphemy law to cover any ‘sacrilege’ of the holy book.

Written by Amitava Chakraborty |
Updated: August 26, 2018 6:45:49 am
Guru Granth Sahib, punjab anti blasphemy law, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, punjab, amarinder singh, indian express news “We also visit homes to see people can keep the book properly,” says Kulmohan Singh, Chief Advisor, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee. (Express photo).

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee is importing a new computerised machine worth about Rs 8 crore for printing Guru Granth Sahib. The move comes at a time when Punjab is planning to strengthen an anti-blasphemy law to cover any ‘sacrilege’ of the holy book.

How can one get a copy of the Guru Granth Sahib?

First a devotee has to apply for it through a form, following which a team from the DSGMC visits their home to check if the sanctity of the book can be maintained on the premises. The applicant then visits the DSGMC with five members, who carry the book home. If the applicant is unable to bring five people, we have a designated vehicle to deliver the book to their home.

Does one have to pay for the holy scripture?

We do not charge anything for it; it’s free. We also publish other books which are sold at nominal rates. There are expenses involved in the printing — establishment cost, employee salaries etc — but for us, it is not about profit. The old machine has so far printed approximately one lakh copies of the holy scripture, and all of that have been distributed. I am not sure about the exact number.

How do you ensure quality?

The holy book has 1,430 pages. A special kind of paper is needed for the Guru Granth Sahib. The ink used to print the scripture is also different. The people who work in the press cover their head with a piece of white cloth and no one is allowed to walk into the area with their shoes on. We mostly publish religious and historical books — Gutka (a breviary with hymns from Sikh scriptures), the Gurbani, books on the life of Sikh gurus.

From where is the machine being imported?

We have spoken to companies in Germany and The Netherlands. We’ll buy the best machine available in the market. We have shortlisted machines and will take a

final call soon. Also, we are planning to inform people and school students about the journey of the Guru Granth Sahib by organising visits to the press. In these tours, we will talk about the process of printing the scripture, how errors on the pages are spotted etc.

Why can’t others print the Guru Granth Sahib?

The Guru Granth Sahib is the most important Sikh scripture. It has been printed here for the last two decades. Earlier some private publishers would print it but there were several mistakes. Also, the publishers were reluctant to rectify the errors as they lacked competent people. Once, in Chandni Chowk, we found the Guru Granth Sahib packed in sacks and lying on the road. Later, the SGPC passed a resolution declaring that ‘they are the only authority’ to publish the Guru Granth Sahib. However, with demand growing, the SGPC asked the DSGMC too to publish the holy book. Teams from both these organisations often meet to discuss changes in the text.

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