PALANTINE, II: “CHURCIL, the human and cultural rights organization held its annual meeting and a seminar on “The Sikh Archives, Its Organization and Loss” in Chicago at the Seminar Hall, SRS, Palatine on December 13, 1987. Dr. Madanjit Kaur, Dean, Guru Nanak Dey University, Amritsar while presenting the paper on the theme topic informed the participants that91 Hukamnamas (Guru’s original letters), 25 Nishans (Guru’s signatures), 20,000 rare books, 250 Birs, 500 manuscripts related to Sikh Gurusand religious texts and other historically significant materials were lost. The loss took place two days after the Golden Temple had been overrun by the Indian Army.

This deliberate and irreparable loss is probably the most serious destruction of religious documents in recorded history. A discussion followed as to the ways and means to make facsimiles of the lost documents by way of microfilming the existing photos of the same. It was decided to form a committee to undertake preliminary investigation of this task. For suggestions and to help, readers should ‘contact CHURCIL, P.O. Box 4761, Duke Station, Durham, NC 27706.

A Slide show and lively discussion followed. The slides consisted and wall paintings pertaining to the Akal Takht made during last century which have also been lost.

The final stages of the meeting consisted of presentation of yearly, and monthly accounts for the last two and a half years; projects for the next two years and other miscellaneous matters. Dr. Pritam Singh highlighted the importance of the Sikh scriptures which have been lost as a result of deliberate and calculated policy of the Indian government. Mr. AS. Sidhu spoke on the architectural beauty of the Golden Temple Complex and related some of his personal experiences as an architect who had earlier studied the historic buildings. Dr. Jasbir Kaur urged Churcil to undertake steps to disseminate information on Sikhs and Sikhism at various academic campuses. Sardar Harjit Singh explained some little or unknown aspects of historical background of the scriptures and murals.

Drs. B.S. Hansra and Jaspal Singh impressed upon the need to establish a link with Sikh youth so. As to face the environmental challenges of a different culture and peer pressures. Dr. InderPaul Singh explained the parents must be able to communicate with their teenage children in order to avoid alienation and withdrawal. Jassi Sidhu commented that the parents and not the youth appeared to be groping in the dark, Sardar HLS. Gakhal, B.S. Bhathal and as Gidda highlighted the need for selfless Sewa and unity. The meeting adjourned calling upon CHURCIL to continue its work along the direction it had been in the past.

Article extracted from this publication >> January 1, 1988