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SGPC to reproduce history lost in Bluestar

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:41 am
by admin
Written by Hindustan Times
Friday, 07 November 2008

Smoked out cupboards at the Sikh Reference Library in 1984

FAILING a positive response by the Centre over restoring rare books and manuscripts taken away during Operation Bluestar, the SGPC has decided to re-establish the Sikh Reference Library by its own efforts, this time in digitised form.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee will reproduce original manuscripts, 'hukamnamas' and other handwritten works of Gurus through microfilms in possession of keen devotees.

With help from the British Museums and Library, UK, the SGPC will recreate in digital form the entire Sikh literature, manuscripts ranging from the birth of Guru Nanak Dev in 1469 to 1800.

For this, the Sikh body has nominated Sikh Scholar Prof Anuragh Singh, who already has in his possession microfilms of nearly 200 documents. Prof Anuragh is presently Director, Sikh History Board.

"We have been fighting a legal battle for over two decades to get back articles taken by the Army during Bluestar, but have not got a positive response," explained SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar.

Prof Anuragh Singh said a digitized Sikh reference library would be put together within the next six months. He claims to be in possession of microfilms of rare handwritten manuscripts written by Guru Gobind Singh in the years 1705 and 1707, handwritten 'huka manas' of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur, manuscript of 'Sikha Di Bhagatmala' written by Bhai Mani Singh in 1734, which the scholar says he and his father Tarlochan Singh had collected from the UK and other countries.

Prof Anuragh said they had drawn up a complete list of books and manuscripts at the Sikh library before 1984. "We have tied up with the British Museum and Library's Paramjit Singh, who is undertaking the work at the UK library which owns several microfilms of Sikh works," he said. For digitalising the manuscripts, the SGPC has got into an agreement with a Chandigarh based firm, Nanakshahi.