Indian-American businessman Sant Singh Chatwal
Indian-American businessman Sant Singh Chatwal

'ICSS to help impart universal message of Guru Granth Sahib'

ANI | Updated: Aug 25, 2018 15:08 IST

New York [USA], Aug 25 (ANI): Indian-American businessman Sant Singh Chatwal has said that the International Centre for Sikh Studies (ICSS) that is coming up at the Gurudwara Rakabganj Sahib in New Delhi would help in spreading the message of the Guru Granth Sahib, the religious scripture of the Sikhs to all the generations across the globe.
In his opening remarks at a press conference here on Friday, Chatwal said that he had visited the centre in India last month and appreciated that 80 per cent of the works has so far been completed. He added that he is looking for its grand opening on the occasion of Baisakhi next year.
Stressing on the importance of the Guru Granth Sahib, Chatwal explained, "The message of Guru Granth Sahib is very universal. It is not only for the Sikhs, it is for every human being and for all religions. When we bow our heads in front of the Guru Granth Sahib, it is not just for the Sikhs, but for all. The ICSS is one centre which is open to all the religions."
He added, "All over the world, ICSS will help to spread the message (of the Guru Granth Sahib) to those people who don't know that we don't believe in one God. In July 2015, when I first heard the idea of creating a Guru Granth Sahib international centre, it was an amazing and creative idea."
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Manjit Singh GK, who is the brainchild behind the project, said that many people have supported the cause of establishing the ICSS and have contributed for the initiative.
He said, "The project was conceived by the DSGMC. When we met Chatwal and gave him the details, he offered us USD one million for the initiative. Also, Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Singh Badal gave Rs. 10 crore on behalf of the Punjab government."
Calling the Guru Granth Sahib as the living guru of the Sikhs, Singh added, "The problem is that we have not been able to convey this (Guru Granth Sahib) message to our generation. The message of Guru Granth Sahib is universal. It consists of the bani (sermons) of the 10 Sikh Gurus. When people were thrown out from holy places due to their status as lower caste, the bani of those saints were included by our fifth guru. This project will trace the journey of the Guru Granth Sahib; how did our guru collect the bani of other saints."
He underscored that the religious scripture talks about the upliftment of women, promoting compassion and humanity, helping the downtrodden and standing with the oppressed in critical times.
Singh continued, "It (Guru Granth Sahib) preaches that on the basis of religion, with status or money, you cannot be bigger or smaller. You can be great with your own deeds. This (ICSS) will put a message across the globe on what Guru Granth Sahib stands for. Sikhs are facing hate crimes all over the world as we are considered something else of what we are not. This message must be spread."
The DSGMC president talked about the ICSS centre saying that it would house a museum where the original Guru Granth Sahib that was handwritten about 400 years ago, would be displayed. He added that a digital library comprising thousands of religious books and an auditorium with 4Dx technology (showcasing holographic projection) would be designed. The centre is located opposite the Parliament House.
Singh further explained, "It is not necessary that the people will come to Delhi to see what is there, we have online facility as well. It (the Centre) will trace the journey of Guru Granth Sahib that how it was printed before and how it is done now."
Terming the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev as a visionary, Singh stressed that people considered him as a walking and talking prophet as he spoke extensively on the Guru Granth Sahib and traveled 40,000 miles on foot all around the world.
The DSGMC president further stated that the Guru Granth Sahib gives the message of inter-faith dialogue, adding that all problems could be resolved mutually on the table.
Singh went on to say that the followers of Sikhism always served the people whenever they were in distress in any part of the planet, as propagated by Guru Nanak Dev.
Meanwhile, the convener of ICSS and former Rajya Sabha member S. Tarlochan Singh said, "The 550th birthday of Guru Nanak Dev would be celebrated all over the world next year. It is important to impart his message to the people. Through modern techniques, people would be aware of the philosophy of Guru Nanak Dev and the history of the Sikhs. In this centre, people would come to know that this is the religion which is meant to serve humanity." (ANI)