The Sikh community in Pakistan said that it wants a handwritten copy of Guru Granth Sahib, which is currently on display at a museum in Lahore and estimated to be 300 years old, to be placed at the Gurdwara Dera Sahib, according to a media report.
The handwritten copy of the Sikh holy book, according to experts, is very rare, The Express Tribune said in a report on Wednesday.
“While there is no date on it, the writing and ink shows it is more than three hundred years old,” said Aliza Saba Rizvi, a researcher and in charge of the section of the Lahore Museum dedicated to Sikhism.
According to Rizvi, the manuscript, along with other artefacts were received by the museum as a donation from various individuals and organization over a long period of time.
“This is a rare copy of the Guru Granth Sahib,” Rizvi said, adding that a similar copy of the holy scripture is at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India.
Now the Sikh community in Pakistan wants the holy scripture to be placed inside the Gurdwara Dera Sahib, a shrine situated in the heart of Lahore, which stands at the spot where Guru Arjan Dev died in 1606.
“This ancient copy of Guru Granth Sahib must be kept in a Gurdwara Sahib,” The Express Tribune quoted a senior member of the community as saying.
“It cannot be kept in a closet like any ordinary book,” said Sardar Bishan Singh, former head of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC).
“It needs to be placed inside the Gurdwara with the respect it deserves,” said Singh.
The community leader said he would place the demand on the agenda for the next meeting of the PSGPC.
Singh suggested the museum should transfer the rare scripture to the Gurdwara or hire a member of the community to take care of the holy book as prescribed by Sikh customs.