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world heritage status to golden temple (Read 7359 times)
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world heritage status to golden temple
25. Jan 2005 at 04:00
 
i am doing my thesis on WORLD HERITAGE SATUS to GOLDEN TEMPLE and its impact on amritsar city.  
impact can be physical , socio-cultural , economic enhancement ,etc.  
i need feedback from awared residents of the city  and even from all.
lets have a discussion that will help me in my research.
wishes
naviii
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Re: world heritage status to golden temple
Reply #1 - 06. Feb 2005 at 02:33
 
SGPC meeting on Golden Temple status sought
Tribune News Service  
 
Chandigarh, February 4
The SGPC member from Mohali, Mr Hardeep Singh, has urged the SGPC to withdraw the ‘nomination dossier’ submitted to through the Government of India to seek heritage status for Sri Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple).  
 
Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Hardeep Singh, said there were certain controversial references with regard to the Golden Temple and Gurbani in the dossier. He said the meeting of the general house of the SGPC should be called to discuss such references.
 
Mr Hardeep Singh, who has also written to the Director of the Unesco in this regard, said several issues required to be discussed. Foremost of these was whether there is any need to seek heritage status for the Golden Temple. What would be the benefit of such status? Is there other central religious place of any community which has been given heritage status? he asked.
 
He alleged that the dossier was kept secret by the persons concerned and shown to only a few chosen members of the SGPC. He said that the Golden Temple was not a monument as being projected by certain persons. “Darbar Sahib and Akal Takht were torch-bearers of the sikh philosophy, ideology and ethos,” he added.
 
He said if the ‘dossier’ having objectionable contents was once accepted by the Unesco, it would become a reference document for the entire world.
 
“Such a development would cause great harm to Sikhism and distort its meaning and philosophy worldwide,” he added.
 
Mr Hardeep Singh said if the meeting of the general house of SGPC was not called, then he would organise a meeting of Sikh intellectuals, religious leaders and others concerned to discuss the matter.  
 
 
 
 
   
 
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Re: world heritage status to golden temple
Reply #2 - 08. Feb 2005 at 19:47
 
SGPC in full control of Golden Temple, says UNESCO
Our Correspondent  
 
Amritsar, February 7
The SGPC today clarified that the inclusion of the Golden Temple on the World Heritage list would only provide international recognition to the outstanding values of the site without compromising its status, ownership, living traditions and practices.  
 
Reacting strongly to the remarks of Mr Hardeep Singh, an SGPC member from Mohali, Ms Kiranjot Kaur, also a member of SGPC, in a press statement issued today, said that the registration unit of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee had expressly stated, “It notes in particular that the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925 provides for governmental non-interference in the gurdwara management. Thus evidently, the SGPC has the complete autonomy to act.”
 
Mr Hardeep Singh had urged that SGPC to withdraw the nomination dossier submitted through the government and also to discuss the entire gamut of the dossier in the general House of the SGPC.  
 
Ms Kiranjot Kaur felt that Mr Hardeep Singh had been misinformed about the whole issue of the nomination.  
 
She alleged that he might be deliberately trying to misread the facts to spread misinformation among the Sikh masses.  
 
Clarifying the statement of fact as mentioned in the dossier, Ms Kiranjot Kaur said the SGPC had the total control over the Golden Temple property while the state government would manage the buffer zone and the surrounding area of the temple in consultation with the SGPC only.  
 
She added that the state government would tackle the issues of management of pollution control, traffic, and urban planning, which form part of the buffer zone.
 
 Tribune India 7th February
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Re: world heritage status to golden temple
Reply #3 - 30. Mar 2005 at 09:03
 
WSC-AR Urges UNESCO to Drop Consideration of Siri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar  
for World Heritage Status
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2005
 
Contact: Dr. Tarunjit Singh, Secretary General, 614-210-0591,  
contact@worldsikhcouncil.org
 
 
The World Sikh Council - America Region (WSC-AR) has urged UNESCO and its  
World Heritage Centre to immediately drop the consideration of Siri Darbar  
Sahib, Amritsar for world heritage status.
 
In a letter addressed to Mr. Francesco Bandarin (Director of UNESCO World  
Heritage Centre), dated March 25, 2005, WSC-AR communicated that pursuing  
this project would entail serious protests by Sikhs around the globe as  
interference in their religious affairs.
 
The WSC-AR has been in touch with UNESCO since January of 2005. Having  
reviewed the response from UNESCO and the complete three volume nomination  
dossier made available by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee  
(SGPC) at its website, it is the considered opinion of the World Sikh  
Council - America Region that the request to nominate Siri Darbar Sahib as  
a cultural symbol of Indian civilization by the State Party of India is  
mischievous and wrong. The dossier submitted by the State Party in  
collaboration with the SGPC is misleading, has serious flaws, and is  
strongly objected to by Sikhs around the world.
 
Siri Darbar Sahib, located in the South Asian city of Amritsar, Punjab, is  
the central Sikh place of worship for 25 million Sikhs worldwide. It was  
established by the founders of the faith and holds deep historical and  
spiritual significance for the entire Sikh community spread across the  
globe. The Sikh Diaspora, including large Sikh communities in Europe, North  
America, and the Far East, has not been consulted in this proposal and in  
the preparation of the nomination dossier submitted to UNESCO.
 
The fundamental argument set forth in the nomination dossier that Siri  
Darbar Sahib represents the cultural heritage and uniqueness of Indian  
civilization is misleading and incorrect. Such claims undermine the  
religious importance of this site and are offensive. The status of Siri  
Darbar Sahib in the Sikh Religion is similar to that of the Kaaba in Islam  
and the Vatican in Roman Catholicism. Kaaba is not a Saudi Arabian cultural  
site but the center of Islam; the Vatican is not an Italian cultural entity  
but the center of the Roman Catholic faith. Neither of these two places is  
on the World Heritage List under Saudi Arabia or Italy. Siri Darbar Sahib  
is the heartthrob of a living faith; it is not an archeological relic or a  
symbol of Indian culture and it is not a cultural tourist site.
 
Emotionally and spiritually Siri Darbar Sahib has the greatest importance  
to Sikhs worldwide. It is managed by the SGPC as a representative body of  
Sikhs living in Punjab and Haryana states of India. The SGPC does not  
represent Sikhs outside these two Indian states. It certainly does not  
represent Sikhs living outside India. The nomination dossier claims on page  
I-160 and II-27 that "The SGPC is acknowledged as the highest authority in  
religious matters by Sikhs worldwide" and "It [SGPC] takes decisions on  
religious matters which are considered final by all Sikhs." Both these  
statements are false and we take the strongest exception to these claims.  
The SGPC is merely a managing body operating under the laws of the states  
of Punjab and Haryana in India. It has no jurisdiction in matters of faith.  
Siri Akaal Takhat Sahib is that authority.
 
Since the overall responsibility for the protection of a world heritage  
site lies with the state party, the placing of Siri Darbar Sahib on this  
list would effectively cede control of the site to the Indian government.  
This is an affront to Sikhs everywhere. The Indian Government interference  
in Sikh religious affairs is already considerable because the SGPC has to  
operate under laws made by the Punjab and Haryana state governments. The  
experiences of the Sikh community worldwide over the last two decades have  
shown that the Indian State is attempting to extend not only its control of  
Sikh institutions and places of worship but to rewrite Sikh history and  
undermine the Sikh faith. Sikhs cannot forget the bloody invasion of Siri  
Darbar Sahib in 1984 followed by the attempted reconstruction of Siri Akaal  
Takhat Sahib and the construction of Galiyara (corridor) around the complex  
to ensure ease of armed intervention in the future.
 
The importance of the highest authority in the Sikh faith, Siri Akaal  
Takhat Sahib, has been significantly understated in the dossier. Decisions  
by Siri Akaal Takhat Sahib taken through a Sikh community consultation  
process (Gurmatta) are respected and followed by all Sikhs worldwide. The  
SGPC has recently been highly politicized. Acting in collusion with and  
under directives from the political establishment in India, this committee  
has undermined the status of Siri Akaal Takhat Sahib and attempted to make  
it subservient. The international Sikh community has been opposed to these  
moves and seeks to restore the position of Siri Akaal Takhat Sahib as the  
supreme authority not subject to the SGPC or the local politicians  
controlling that committee.
 
In addition, the nomination dossier contains numerous historical  
inaccuracies, factual mistakes, and misinformation about the Sikh faith and  
its history.
 
We call upon Sikh organizations across the world to write to Mr. Francesco  
Bandarin, Director of UNESCO World Heritage Centre, expressing concerns  
over the proposed project and requesting that the consideration of this  
proposal be dropped.
 
The WSC-AR is a representative and elected body of Sikh Gurdwaras and  
institutions in the United States. Its members include 36 Gurdwaras (Sikh  
places of worship) and other Sikh institutions across the nation.
 
---
 
Member Gurdwaras of WSC-AR:
1. Gurdwara Sahib Fremont, Fremont, CA
2. Guru Nanak Sikh Mission, Livingston, CA
3. Sikh Gurdwara of LA, North Hollywood, CA
4. Sikh Gurdwara Riverside, Riverside, CA
5. Colorado Singh Sabha, Denver, CO
6. Guru Singh Sabha of Augusta, Augusta, GA
7. Sikh Study Circle of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
8. Sikh Religious Society of Chicago, Palatine, IL
9. Sikh Society of South, New Orleans, LA
10. Sikh Gurdwara of Michigan, Rochester Hills, MI
11. Sikh Society of Michigan, Madison Heights, MI
12. Guru Nanak Foundation of Jackson, MS
13. Sikh Gurdwara of North Carolina, Durham, NC
14. Garden State Sikh Association, Bridgewater, NJ
15. Guru Nanak Sikh Society of Delaware Valley, Sewell, NJ
16. Siri Guru Singh Sabha, Glenrock, NJ
17. Sikh Cultural Society Inc., Richmond Hills, NY
18. Sikh Cultural & Edu. Society of Western NY, Buffalo, NY
19. Sikh Religious Society of Dayton, Dayton, OH
20. Guru Nanak Found. of Greater Cleveland, Richfield, OH
21. Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Society, Bedford, OH
22. Guru Nanak Religious Soc. of Central Ohio, Columbus, OH
23. Tristate Sikh Cultural Society, Monroeville, PA
24. Mid South Sikh Sabha, Memphis, TN
25. Sikh Center of Gulf Coast, Houston, TX
26. Siri Guru Singh Sabha, Richardson, TX
27. Sikh Gurdwara of North Texas, Garland, TX
28. Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Fairfax, VA
29. Sikh Association of Central Virginia, VA
30. Sikh Religious Society of Wisconsin, Brookfield, WI
 
Other Sikh Institution Members of WSC-AR:
1. Siri Guru Granth Sahib Found., Anaheim, CA
2. Sikhs Serving America, Topeka, KS
3. Sikh Youth Federation of North America, White Plains, NY
4. Sikh Educational & Religious Foundation, Dublin, OH
5. Sikh Youth Federation of USA, Toledo, OH
6. Academy of Guru Granth Studies, Arlington, TX
 
----
 
World Sikh Council - America Region (WSC-AR)
P.O. Box 3635, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA
Phone: 614-210-0591
Fax: 419-535-6794
E-mail: contact@worldsikhcouncil.org
Website: www.worldsikhcouncil.org
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