GSC: Timely intervention saves wholesale destruction of 200 copies of Guru Granth Sahib


Statement | Global Sikh Council | 16 January 2023 |

An ill-considered plan to destroy old and possibly historic copies of the Guru Granth Sahib has been stopped by the timely intervention of President Global Sikh Council (GSC).

On learning that it was planned to send 200 old copies of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib from Pakistan to New Delhi for Agan Bhet (formal disposal), the President, immediately approached S Ramesh Singh MP and member Pakistan Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee who is a GSC representative. With his help she managed to put a stop to this ill-conceived plan of taking 200 Birs to Delhi for Agan Bhet.

The GSC believes that the Delhi Gurdwara Committee were in error to facilitate Agan Bhet of the Birs without investigating their historic value. The GSC will work to ensure:

  • the age, authenticity, and value of these 200 Birs and other historic literature is properly investigated,
  • important literature is properly documented and preserved using modern scientific techniques and photographic analysis,
  • greater efforts are made to preserve and disseminate the richness of our heritage for ourselves and future generations.

We urge the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC)Amritsar to be more vigilant in preventing ill-informed people getting involved in issues involving Sikh heritage. They should safeguard our precious Sikh heritage by inviting experts, and thoroughly investigating issues and concerns. The GSC would like to thank S Ramesh Singh MP for his timely assistance and continuing to liaise for further action in this matter.

Lady Singh, Kanwaljit Kaur President

Global Sikh Council is a confederation of National Level Sikh Organisations worldwide, working together for the advancement of the Sikh religion guided by the Guru Granth Sahib and the socio-economic development of the Sikh community.

(The above letter, dated 16 Jan 2023, was confirmed by the sender)


(Asia Samachar, x 2022)

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  1. The words used (agan BHET) are a misnomer because as Sikhs, we DO NOT worship the Fire Devta and thus do not offer any BHETA to Fire.
    This Agan Bhet terminology was invented by vested interests to bring about a “holy/sacred” atmosphere to a CRIMINAL ACT of destroying authentic puratan copies of SGGS. Why are these puratan (even a Bir printed in say 1950/60..would be DECADES old by 2023..and thus become Puratan and is Valuable due to the reason that its “paaths” can be compared to a Newly printed Bir to see and catch any anamolies/mistakes etc. The Vested Interests (DERAS and Sant Babas were the main culprits in organising this collection and destruction – the 200 Birs in the news story above were being brought in by a DERA in Delhi) – in 2014 a hue and cry was raised in USA when another DERA was caught collecting and bringing these birs back to DELHI for CREMATION. Even then the main bone of contention was that the Dera adherents bringing back the birs actually put them in the same luggage baskets that are used by boarding passengers for items to pass through security machines !! The fact that these authentic birs were being sent for cremation was secondary !! The Vested interests make this entire act so “holy” that sangats gather around to do seva like putting GHEE on each page as a holy act !! They fail to see they are actually helping to cremate the Birs that are historical. (The Irony is also that these same sangats also refer to the Birs as Living Satguru whose pages must be referred to as AANGS and is sacrilege to call it Page !! So who in his right mind actually cremates a living Guru with aangs slothered in pure ghee?) we sikhs need to wake up and think about saving our valuable HERITAGE. ALL Birs should be carefully inspected and verified by a Central qualified authority and no one should be allowed to burn any birs.Digitisation is one way to preserve authentic old birs for antiquity.

  2. Due to the widespread ignorance, scores of old and historic Birs of Guru Granth Sahib had been destroyed (Agan Bhet) in the past. Hence the timely intervention by President of the Global Sikh Council is really commendable. Also, numerous historic Sikh structures and monuments of great heritage value had been mercilessly destroyed in the past by Kar Sewa Babas while the SGPC and the DSGMC failed to intervene.