Die Geschichte der Sikh Referenz Bibliothek

Die Sikh Referenz Bibliothek verfügte über eine Anzahl von historisch wertvollen Büchern in verschiedenen Sprachen, sowie ca. 200 handgeschriebene Hukamname der Sikh Gurus und seltene Manuskripte, ca. 1500 Stück. Die Sikh Referenz Bibliothek befindet sich auf dem Gelände des Sri Darbar Sahib in Amritsar. Sie wurde im Juni 1984 durch die Indische Armee zerstört. Dies passierte im Zeitraum nach dem 6. Juni 1984.



Video Source: United Sikhs & Sangat Television
Die Entstehung der Sikh Referenz Bibliothek

Die Sikh Referenz Bibliothek wurde mit einer Resolution der SGPC am 27. Oktober 1946 gegründet. Die Entstehung dieser Bibliothek geht auf ein Treffen zurück, das am 10. Februar 1945 von der Sikh Historical Society, unter dem Vorsitz der Prinzessin Bamba, am Khalsa College, stattfand. Die Zentrale Sikh Bibliothek (Central Sikh Library, Amritsar) wurde seitdem ein Teil der Sikh Referenz Bibliothek.

Das historische Material

Bevor die Bibliothek zerstört wurde, beinhaltete sie seltene Bücher und Manuskripte über die Sikh Religion, Geschichte und Kultur der Sikhs. Besonders wertvolle handgeschriebene Manuskripte des Siri Guru Granth Sahib, Hukamname und Unterschriften der Sikh Gurus sowie historisch wertvolle Gegenstände waren Teil dieser Sammlung. Die Bibliothek besaß darüber hinaus wichtige Dokumente im Zusammenhang mit der Indischen Unabhängigkeitsbewegung.

Die Zerstörung der Sikh Referenz Bibliothek 1984

Die Inhalte der Bücherei wurden 1984 von der Indischen Armee in Säcken transportiert und zum Amritsar Youth Club gebracht, wo sich ein Büro der CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) befand. In diesem Büro hat die CBI das Material bis September 1984 katalogisiert. Das Material wurde anschliessend an einen unbekannten Ort gebracht. Die Armee hatte danach den Auftrag erhalten, die Bücherei zu zerstören. Die Indische Armee hat in den White Paper publiziert, dass die Bücherei am Abend des 5. Juni 1984 in einem Feuergefecht zerstört wurde. V. M. Tarkunde sowie eine Vielzahl von Zeugen haben berichtet, dass die Bibliothek noch am 6. Juni 1984 in Takt war. Durch eine eingereichte Klage am Höchsten Gerichtshof des Punjabs wies das Gericht im Jahr 2004 die Indische Regierung an, das gesamte Material zurückzugeben. Es wurden einige Inhalte der Bücherei zurückgegeben. Der Status ist bis zum heutigen Tag ungeklärt. Im Jahr 2003 hat Ranjit Nanda, der ehemalige Inspektor des Zentralen Büros für Untersuchungen (Central Bureau of Investigation CBI) zugegeben, dass er zu einem fünfköpfigen Team gehörte, die die Dokumente im Büro der CBI überprüften. Er und die Zeugen bestätigten, dass das Inventar in 165 Säcke gepackt und zum CBI Büro gefahren wurde. Danach wurde die Bibliothek mit leicht brennbarem in Brand gesetzt.

Wertvolle Bücher, Manuskripte und antike Gegenstände, die zur Sikh Referenz Bibliothek gehörten, sind nicht mehr im Besitz der Bibliothek und der Sikh Gemeinde.

Sikh Reference Library (English article - Source: discoversikhism)

The Sikh Reference Library was a repository of over 1,500 rare manuscripts located at Sri Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) at Amritsar, Punjab which was destroyed during the 1984 Sikh Genocide by the Indian army and Hindu led government. In 1984, after the attack and murder of innocent Sikh civilians and worshippers, the library's contents were confiscated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the empty building allegedly burned to the ground by the Indian Army. In recent years the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has attempted to recover the looted material but has not yet recovered substantial materials. To date, the status of library manuscripts and artifacts is unclear; the vast majority remain in the hands of the government, a few office files and passports were returned, and as many as 117 items were destroyed for being "seditious" materials. The Sikh Reference Library was established by the SGPC with a resolution dated October 27, 1946.

The library had its roots in a meeting of the Sikh Historical Society under the presidency of Princess Bamba on February 10, 1945 at Khalsa College, Amritsar which established the Central Sikh library. The Central Sikh library was then folded into the Sikh Reference Library. Before its destruction, the library contained rare books and manuscripts on Sikh religion, history, and culture. It also contained handwritten manuscripts of the Guru Granth Sahib and Hukumnamas containing signatures of Sikh Gurus. The library also held documents related to the Indian Independence Movement. According to the Indian Army white paper on Operation Blue Star, the library was destroyed on the night of June 5, 1984 in the midst of a firefight. However, according to V. M. Tarkunde, the library was still intact on June 6 when the Army had gained control of the Golden Temple, and was in fact burned down by the army at some point between June 6 and June 14. Although the Indian Army has maintained that the library's contents were completely destroyed on June 5, the SGPC has contradicted their version of events. By using witness accounts, the SGPC has alleged that material from the library was taken in gunny sacks on military truck to Amritsar's Youth Club, a temporary office of the CBI, and the empty library was burned by the army afterwards. At that location, the CBI catalogued the materials until September 1984, when in light of a Sikh convention being held in the city, the library's contents were moved to an undisclosed location.

The destruction of the Sikh Reference Library was a systematic and deliberately organized attempt to destroy Sikhs, their religion and its literature by a ruthless Indian hindu led government. In 2003, Ranjit Nanda, a former inspector for the Central Bureau of Investigation, (CBI) turned whistleblower and revealed he was part of a five member team which scrutinized the documents at the CBI's makeshift office at Amritsar's Youth Club. Ranjit Nanda revealed that officials from his department were "desperately looking for a purported letter written by Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, to Jarnail Singh Bhinderanwale", and reported seeing letters from the other leaders addressed to Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Manjit Calcutta, a former secretary of the SGPC, corroborated Nanda's version of events but further alleged that the army set the library "on fire in desperation when it failed to find the letter". Nanda further confirmed the SGPC's version of events by describing how after inspecting each book and manuscript the CBI packed the documents into 165 numbered gunny sacks and bundled the material into waiting army vehicles because of a meeting of Sikh high priests taking place at the time. He also showed a letter from his superiors commending his work "during examination of documents from SGPC". What happened to historical manuscripts, books and artifacts after the Library was looted and burned? Since 1988, the SGPC has written to the Central Government asking for the return of the material taken by the CBI but has only received minor office files.

On May 23, 2000 George Fernandes wrote to the SGPC Secretary, Gurbachan Singh Bachan, and acknowledged that the Indian Army had taken the books and other documents from the Sikh Reference Library and handed them over to the CBI. George Fernandes asked him to refer the matter to the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, whose jurisdiction the CBI falls under. In a visit to Jalandhar, Punjab Fernandes announced that the CBI had destroyed 117 "seditious" documents from the material taken from the Sikh Reference Library. On March 25, 2003, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam made assurances that the books, documents, and manuscripts would be returned, however he took no further action. In April 26, 2004, the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered the Central Government, Government of Punjab, and the CBI to return the "valuables, books, scriptures, paintings, etc, that were seized from the Golden Temple during "Operation Bluestar" in 1984".In February and May 2009, A. K. Antony, defense minister of India, claimed in parliament that the Indian Army no longer had any material taken from the library. Various members of parliament and the SGPC criticized him for "misleading parliament".

Recent Press article about the Sikh Reference Library - 8. September 2020

Nearly 14 months since the constitution of a high powered panel to look into the status of rare manuscripts of holy ‘Birs’ of Guru Granth Sahib and other literature returned by the Indian army and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to Sikh Reference Library, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has failed to give a report on the fate of this rare repository. The Indian army took away many of the rare articles from the library situated on the premises of Harmandar Sahib during the attack it launched on the supreme Sikh shrine to demolish the highest Sikh temporal seat, Akal Takht Sahib, in the first week of June 1984. After some years, the army and the CBI had returned some of the articles to the SGPC.

In June 2019, former library director Dr. Anurag Singh asked the SGPC about the whereabouts of the 185 old handwritten saroops of Guru Granth Sahib and items returned by the army and CBI. He alleged that some of the rare holy ‘birs’ of Guru Granth Sahib and Sri Dasam Granth were sold out in foreign countries. The same is the fate of 28 original ‘Hukamnamas’ (edicts) of the Gurus, he stated. As these claims had brought a storm in it, the SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal set up a five-member committee comprising former SGPC presidents Kirpal Singh Badungar and Bibi Jagir Kaur, former SGPC secretary Dalmegh Singh, Dr. Amar Singh from Guru Nanak Dev University and SGPC chief secretary (now former) Roop Singh to inquire into the status of these ‘Birs’ and other items. This committee conducted a few meetings at Teja Singh Samundari Hall but these meetings have remained inconclusive so far. And the question about the whereabouts of the handwritten ‘Birs’ and other rare literature continues to be unanswered, just like the matter of 328 Guru Granth Sahib Saroops which went missing from Guru Granth Sahib Bhawan at Gurdwara Ramsar Sahib, where these saroops are printed by the apex gurdwara body. Both matters are similar as the SGPC could not maintain a related record. Now, it has nothing to show about where the Saroops or other items are. Now, the entire community is demanding the Truth be brought to the fore at the earliest as this is a matter of religious sentiments.

Notably, the committee formed on the Sikh Reference Library did not conduct any meeting for the last several months. In the coming days, this issue may become another headache for the SGPC. To defend itself, the SGPC cited that 307 rare handwritten ‘Birs’ of Guru Granth Sahib and 11,107 rare Books and Manuscripts are still missing from the Library and the Gurdwara body has not received them yet. However, it could not produce any record of the items that have been returned.

Dr. Anurag Singh who worked from November 4, 2008, to January 4, 2009, has been working on the rare and old Manuscripts of the Sikh Scriptures and had drawn the attention of the community toward this side. Ludhiana-based Satinder Singh, an aide of Dr. Anurag Singh, also filed a petition in Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking directions to the SGPC to disclose the whereabouts of the rare ‘Birs’ and Articles. Apart from the rare ‘Birs’ of Guru Granth Sahib, Dasam Granth and original Hukamnamas, Janam Sakhis, rare Paintings, Documents and Literature are also preserved in it. The Indian army also set this library on fire during the attack causing irreparable loss to the Sikhs. Besides Gurmukhi Scriptures in Persian, Arabia, and Tibetan were also kept in the library before 1984, it is told.

(Source: Sikh24.com)

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