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Heritage Status For Sri Harimandir Sahib

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The Sikhs face a big threat to their sovereignty - the jurisdiction of the Sri Harimandir Sahib and Akal Takht is to be formally conceded over to the jurisdiction of the Indian Government, if this 'behind the scenes stealth' move is allowed to go through.

Without any consultation with the Panth, collusion between the Government of India and some misinformed Sikhs, has resulted in an application for 'heritage status' to UNESCO.

In essence, the Harimandir Sahib should have no formal juridical control by any manmade political institution. Its physical protection and management is the responsibility of the Sikh Panth.

The Akal Takht is the political seat of Sikhs, representing the sovereignty of Guru Panth in the balance of Guru Granth & Guru Panth - it is the 'living' decision making institution of the Sikh Panth. With a Heritage status, the independent sovereignty of Guru Panth will be formally taken away, making one of Sikhi's main institutions defunct. This is why the world's buildings representing seats of sovereignty institutions - like Buckingham Palace or Windsor Palace in UK, the White House, be as they be beautiful buildings, never apply for heritage status as they are 'living' sovereign institutions.

We present the argument below in more detail- the pros and cons for this application in order for a consultation within the global Sikh community. In addition to this website, we are taking this argument into the community.

Witness84 was able to get hands on this 'very secret' document - an event that in itself sent alarm signals. We have studied this document and had lawyers in the UK deliberate on the documents.

Witness84 is taking a stand of opposing this application with the most forceful vigour. Our campaign is to make representations to UNESCO and SGPC - we make these letters available below for YOU to join in and make this a common Panthic campaign, which requires urgent action as the application is at an advanced stage.

In addition, we are building a PETITION page by the end of this week.. please show us your support by signing this.

Should sri harmandir Sahib have a heritage status ?

In the the above site , also listed advantages / disadvantages ?

If heritage status , how would it impact the Sikhs ?

Should this be stopped ?

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Further info from site :-

UNESCO has sent their representative to Amritsar to assess the suitability of Sri Darbar Sahib to be included in the world heritage site list. The nomination for this recognition was made by SGPC under advice from a PR agency in Delhi and government officials. Little was discussed within SGPC and indeed very little within the Panth - the Sikh community as a whole.

When rumours of the application surfaced last year, the Sikh Human Rights Group tried to get hold of a copy of the application. But SHRG faced resistance, it was only after a threat of court action and a representation to the late Gurcharan Singh Tohra, then the president of SGPC that a copy was made available. SHRG's first impressions of the report were relayed to Mr Tohra who was alarmed at the possible consequences of the application - he had not read, nor was he briefed about the final completed application. SHRG requested to put the matter before the Panth, but so far the new SGPC committee has failed to respond.

Heritage status for Sri Darbar Sahib has significant benefits but it also has serious implications for its intended status that have not been debated in the Panth before submitting this application.

In the event we have taken the liberty to put the matter to the Sikhs worldwide ourselves so that informed opinion can be made and views be communicated to the SGPC, the Indian State and UNESCO.

Heritage status will put the Sri Darbar Sahib on the list of sites whose architecture will have to be preserved by the Indian government with the help of the international community, i.e. UNESCO.

However there are important implications that arise as a result of fulfilling the criteria One of the responses implies that India 's jurisdiction and administration applies in Sri Akal Takht Sahib. The result could alter the sovereign status of the Sri Akal Takht Sahib irretrievably in the near future and will have involuntarily ended the controversy of the question 'whose jurisdiction runs at the Sri Akal Takht Sahib?'

It is important to debate these issues before a major step such as compromising the sovereignty of Sri Akal Takht Sahib is taken. Please read the accompanying relevant material taken from the World Heritage Site documents.

We request a public forum to be held on the subject

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