Amritsar, Punjab: The Sikh clergy has decided to not accept an apology from those tattooing the verses from the Gurbani (holy verses) or even Ek Onkar (first words in Guru Granth Sahib-the holy book of Sikhs). The Sikh clergy has recommended filing of an FIR against the violators under Section 295 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for hurting the sentiments of the community.
The Sikh clergy took this decision on Monday during a meeting at the Akal Takht (highest temporal seat of the Sikhs) following complaints of tattooing of verses from the Gurbani and the Siri Sahib (sacred sword) on the forearm of Hindi and Punjabi film actor Neeru Bajwa. Earlier, Bollywood actor Mandira Bedi also drew the ire of Sikhs for tattooing Ek Onkar on her back in 2007 and on her nape in 2010.
Speaking to TOI, Jathedar (head) of Akal Takht Giani Gurbachan Singh said, “Neeru Bajwa has submitted a written apology for her conduct. But we have decided not to accept apologies from anyone for showing disrespect to our sacred symbols and the Gurbani.”
“Film actors have been seen tattooing Sikh religious symbols on their body to grab media attention which hurts religious feelings of the community,” he said.
Gurbachan said the clergy has also directed the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee to approach the government for making amendments in Section 295 (deliberately hurting the religious feelings of any community by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representation) of IPC to prevent taking of the Guru Granth Sahib to tombs or mausoleums. The high priests have also sought suggestions from Sikh intellectuals to maintain the honour of the Guru Granth Sahib.