LED BY CM, PUNJAB VIDHAN SABHA PASSES THE SIKH GURUDWARAS (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2023
Led by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, the Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday passed the Sikh Gurudwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2023 aims with a thumping majority.
Wrapping up discussion on the bill at the floor of Punjab Vidhan Sabha, the Chief Minister said that the bill aims at freeing the undue control of a particular family over the rights to telecast sacred Gurbani. He said that it was a paradoxical situation that SGPC under the influence of a family that controls its affairs, had given intellectual property rights of telecasting the sacred Gurbani to a channel owned by them. Bhagwant Mann questioned how these rights of Gurbani which is repository of knowledge and faith can be given to any channel.
The Chief Minister said that the bill is in no way interference in religious affairs, rather it is a simple step to ensure that Gurbani reaches every household. He said that in the Sikh Gurudwaras Act, 1925, after section 125, section 125-A will be inserted for live telecast of Gurbani free of cost. Bhagwant Mann said that the Act stipulates that it will be the duty of the Board (SGPC) to propagate the teachings of the Gurus by making uninterrupted (without any on screen running advertisements/ commercials/ distortion) live feed (Audio or Audio as well as Video) of Holy Gurbani from Sri Harmandir Sahib available free of cost to all media houses, outlets, platforms, channels etc. whoever wishes to broadcast it.
The Chief Minister reiterated that as a humble and devotee Sikh, he is a votary of free to air telecast of the Gurbani across the globe. Bhagwant Mann wondered how this was an attack on panth as he was just opposing the control of a particular channel over the telecast of Gurbani, which is totally unwarranted and unjustified. He said that this move is not aimed at giving rights to any particular channel of government or of any single individual but it is aimed at spreading the message of Gurbani across the globe.
The Chief Minister asserted that the state government is fully competent to amend this act as the Apex court had already through a judgment ruled that this act is not an interstate Act. He said that a single family had dominated in the affairs of the SGPC since long due to which an irreparable damage had been made to the Sikh panth. Bhagwant Mann said that playing a dirty game this family tried to encash the religious sentiments of Sikhs by giving exclusive rights of telecast of Gurbani to their blue eyed channel whereas no mention of word telecast or broadcast was there in the Act.