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Sgpc To Make Foreigners Aware Of Sikh Tenets

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SGPC to make foreigners aware of Sikh tenets

To print literature in their languages, open missions abroad

Perneet Singh/TNS

Amritsar, December 21

Ahead of its protest outside the US Embassy over the turban frisking issue on Thursday, the SGPC today decided to make foreigners aware of the Sikhism by facilitating literature in different foreign languages apart from raising the issue with the UNO and all embassies in New Delhi.

Talking to the media after a SGPC executive meeting, SGPC president Avtar Singh said: “The turban frisking incident involving India’s envoy to UN Hardeep Puri has forced us to adopt a fresh approach to address our concerns over the issue. Therefore, we have decided to provide a detailed information about the Sikh identity, history, culture and five Ks (kesh, kangha, kada, kirpan and kachcha) to foreigners in their country and in their own language. We will come out with literature in languages like French, German, Spanish etc. We will also send brochures about the Sikh identity to the UN Secretary-General and all embassies in New Delhi.” He added that they would also send a memorandum to the UN Secretary-General and heads of the state of different countries.

In another significant move, he said the SGPC would set up Sikh missions in different countries, adding that it would also go a long way in clearing confusion over the Sikh identity. He said a high-level panel comprising Sikh intellectuals would be formed to make efforts for spreading the religion abroad. The panel would take care of the working of the missions. The SGPC president said they had made up their mind to acquire a piece of prime land in Washington to set up a Sikh mission there.

In yet another important move, he said they would acquire 2.5 acres being offered by Gurdwara Sahib Charlotte at North Carolina in the US for setting up the printing facility for Guru Granth Sahib. It will be the first such facility outside India. Earlier, the SGPC used to transport ‘birs’ of Guru Granth Sahib through chartered flights from the country.

The SGPC chief said their delegation, which is at present on a visit to the US and Canada, had physically verified the land being offered in Washington and North Carolina, and they would set the ball rolling for their acquisition as per the US norms once the delegation returned to India.

On a query, he denied that there had been any delay on the part of the SGPC in taking measures to make people aware of the turban issue post-9/11. “In fact, it was due to our efforts that murderous attack on Sikhs had stopped,” he claimed.

He renewed his call to all Sikh organisations to reach New Delhi on December 23 for a protest outside the US Embassy.

He justified the protest stating that they simply wanted to convey their message and they would do it peacefully.

“Had our letters to the PM over the issue made any impact, we would not have resorted to this step,” he added.

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