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Sodhi family asked to hand over Kartarpuri Bir to SGPC


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Sodhi family asked to hand over Kartarpuri Bir to SGPC

Tribune News Service

A special meeting of the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation held here on Tuesday with its president, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia in the chair, hailed the appeal of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to the Sodhi family of Kartarpur to restore to the Sikh community the original Bir (Sri Adi Granth) of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the 400th anniversary of whose compilation and first installation in Sri Harmandar Sahib is being celebrated all over the world on September 1, 2004, at Amritsar.

The authenticity of this original holy Granth, known as Sri Kartarpuri Bir, scribed by Bhai Gurdas under the direct supervision of Sri Guru Arjan Dev, had been vouched by top Sikh scholars, including Bhai Jodh Singh, after minute scrutiny of the holy text which bears the signature of Guru Arjan Dev. The date given there also corresponds to the year 1604.

Dr Ahluwalia said: “It is hoped that the Sodhi family of Kartarpur would hand over the Kartarpuri Bir to the Sikh community well before the historic commemorative function at Amritsar on September 1.The Jagir assigned to the holy Bir by Maharaja Ranjit Singh may be kept by the Sodhi family”.

“If however”, resolved the foundation, “the Sodhi family does not rise to the occasion and continues insisting on treating it as their hereditary personal property, then the mammoth congregation at Amritsar should make an appeal to the Sodhi family to restore the Bir to the Sikh community, for, no original text of holy Granths of any religion, where available, are in the personal custody of any individual family. The gurdwara reform movement of the first and the second decade of the last century remains incomplete without getting back the holy Granth from the hereditary possession of a family”.

The Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee should also prevail upon the Kartarpur Sodhi family in this connection. The foundation in its resolution further appealed to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to persuade the Sodhi family of Kartarpur to make the noble gesture of ceremonially returning the Bir to the SGPC, thereby earning the gratitude of the whole Sikh community. This would be a real achievement of the 400th celebration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Sodhis refuse to oblige

Varinder Singh

Tribune News Service

Kartarpur (Jalandhar), August 26

The recent appeal of SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal notwithstanding, the Sodhi family of Kartarpur, who are descendants of Guru Arjan Dev and were handed over the Adi Granth, written by Guru Arjan Dev, along with other properties by Guru Teg Bahadur, has asserted that the original bir is their “heritage”, is “very safe” and its location is a “secret” that they do not intend to reveal.

Mr Badal had urged the family last week to hand over the original bir to the SGPC to enable the lakhs of Sikhs expected at the Golden Temple to pay obeisance during the forthcoming quadricentennial celebrations of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib. Similar efforts were earlier made by Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar and Bibi Jagir Kaur during their tenure as president of the SGPC. But the Sodhi family has refused to accept the request.

The Adi Granth was written by Guru Arjan Dev and is the original granth, also known as “Kartarpuri Bir,” that was installed in the Golden Temple by Baba Budha on September 1, 1604. Later, this Adi Granth, according to the Sodhi family, was restored to the family of Dhirmal, a son of Guru Arjun Dev, by ninth Guru Teg Bahadur. Ever since, it has been a ritual for descendants of Dhirmal (the Sodhi family) to display the Adi Granth for “darshan” by common Sikhs once a year on Baisakhi.

After Mr Badal’s recent appeal, efforts were also made by certain Akali leaders to persuade the Sodhi family’s head, Mr Karamjit Singh Sodhi, to allow the display of the Adi Granth at the Golden Temple for “darshan” by Sikhs for just one day on September 1. However, the appeals have not yielded any result so far.

In fact, after the appeal of Mr Badal, the granth has been shifted to a “safe” place and the family is tightlipped about the location.

Mr Karamjit Singh Sodhi, who prefixes “guru” to his name and is also addressed as such by almost all residents of Kartapur, was not available for comment. When contacted over the phone, his younger brother, Mr Charanjit Singh Sodhi, asserted that he could not reveal the location of the granth.

“I don’t want to talk to the media as this can only be done by my elder brother, who is the head of the family and who handles all affairs. I don’t want to give any comment and you can write what you want. The granth is our heritage,” he said.

On the controversy relating to the excommunication and readmission of “Dhirmalias”, Mr Karamjit Singh Sodhi had earlier stated that Dhirmalias had been forgiven by ninth Guru Teg Bahadur, who had restored various properties and the Adi Granth to their family. Hence, the chapter had been closed during the Guru’s lifetime, he added. The family was part of Guru Arjan Dev’s lineage and had been living as true Sikhs ever since, he said.

Bibi Jagir Kaur said she had also made a request to the family, but it failed to yield any result. “They had not even handed over the granth to Gurus,” she said.

Mr Badungar also maintained that during his tenure as SGPC chief he had approached the family to hand over the granth to the SGPC. “We had also requested them to hand over part of the Kartarpur gurdwara that is under their possession. But the family refused to do so even though the SGPC was ready to pay for the cost of the land,” he said.

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  • 10 months later...

I don't think they would have sold it. I think they may want to preserve it rather than put it on display. Which I think is smarter because if it's out in the public, more chances of it getting ruined/or someone may do something to it. Plus, it is apart of their family heritage too, we have our copies of SGGS w the main msgs from the Guru jis, how would having this help our spiritual progress. Another way of idolization if you ask me.

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