The American Sikh Council (ASC) is very concerned about the recent reports through various news outlets regarding the possible printing of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib by Ripudaman Singh Malik of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
According to news reports by local radio and tv stations in the lower mainland of British Columbia there has been a major controversy regarding the alleged printing of Sri Guru Granth Sahib saroops by a Ripudaman Singh Malik and his colleague Balwant Singh Pandher. Apparently, Malik set up a printing press inside Pandher’s home in order to start printing the Sri Guru Granth Sahibs. As of today, they have supposedly printed over a dozen copies to test their venture. The real question is who gave them the authority to take up such a task?
Several gurdwaras in British Columbia have held meetings in July/August and categorically opposed allowing any individual or institution being given the authority to print the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Malik has made trips to Punjab recently and been in close contact with members of the SGPC in reference to the issue of printing. There also seems to be a close relative of Pandher working at the SGPC currently. There have been many mixed messages being put out by Malik and his colleagues after the larger Sikh community found out about this matter. Due to the intense opposition to the subject, the most recent statement by Malik is that he was willing to hand over the ‘printing press’ to the local Sikh community. Whether it was a way to pacify the Sikhs till the issue calms down or he was finding a way to get out of his predicament, is still to be seen?
Regardless of the outcome, the American Sikh Council (ASC) stands firmly with all the Gurdwaras in British Columbia and Canada to oppose against the printing of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib by any individual or institution till further notice.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) in Amritsar, Punjab has the sole authority to print the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Since 1905 the Sri Guru Granth Sahib has been carried and shipped to Canada and other parts of North America till now. There seems to be no shortage of saroops at least according to the few Gurdwaras who have publicly stated through their on-air interviews.
The SGPC must get its own act together as not only are there minor errors which have crept into the current saroops, but critical care needs to be taken of the ‘Rabbi Bani’. The recent theft of 267 saroops in June 2020, of the Sri Guru Granth Sahibs from the custody of the SGPC sheds very poor light on the panthic responsibility given to them. The SGPC needs an army of passionate, seasoned, Sikh activist scholars in the 175-member body who truly understand the enormous charge given to them and the SGPC cannot and must not elect anybody who kowtows to the anti-Sikh Badals or some non-Sikh political entity.
Nevertheless, the American Sikh Council (ASC) reiterates its stand in support of the coalition of Gurdwaras of western Canada through their written decision, taken against the printing of the Sri Guru Ganth Sahibs by any individual/entity till further notice.