Pak Sikh community wants rare religious scripture transferred from museum to gurdwara
Lahore: Pakistan’s minority Sikh community wants a rare, handwritten copy of Guru Granth Sahib, estimated to be 300 years old and currently on display at a museum in Lahore, to be placed at the Gurdwara Dera Sahib, a media report said on Thursday.
The handwritten copy of the holy book, along with other artifacts, was received by the museum as a donation from various individuals and organisation, according to a museum official.
“While there is no date on it, the writing and ink shows it is more than three hundred years old,” Aliza Saba Rizvi, a researcher and in charge of the section of Lahore’s Museum dedicated to Sikhism, was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.
“This is a rare copy of the Guru Granth Sahib,” Rizvi said, adding that a similar copy of the holy scripture is also found at the Golden Temple in India.
The Sikh community in Pakistan wants the holy scripture to be placed inside the Gurdwara Dera Sahib, a temple situated in the heart of Lahore, which stands at the spot where the 5th guru of Sikhism Guru Arjan Dev was martyred in 1606, the report said.
“This ancient copy of Guru Granth Sahib must be kept in a Gurdwara Sahib,” said a senior member of the community.
“It cannot be kept in a closet like any ordinary book. It needs to be placed inside the Gurdwara with the respect it deserves,” said Sardar Bishan Singh, the former head of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC).
The community leader said he would place the demand on the agenda for the next meeting of the PSGPC.
Singh suggested the museum should transfer the rare scripture to the Gurdwara or hire a member of the community to take care of the holy book as prescribed by Sikh customs.
“Holy scriptures that belong to the Sikh community are also found at Multan Museum and Dyal Singh Trust Library, Lahore,” said Kalyan Singh Kalyan, a senior professor at the Government College Lahore.
Sikhism has strong roots in Pakistan. Some of the most holy sites in Sikhism are located in Pakistan, including the final resting place of its founder Guru Nanak.