Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Kalgi not authentic, declares SGPC

The Kalgi when it reached Amritsar on July 2009.

It was amid great fanfare that a kalgi (plume) believed to have been worn by Guru Gobind Singh was received by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) a year a half ago. That kalgi, under the scanner from the day it was brought from the UK, has now formally been declared unauthentic.

A team of researchers comprising senior IPS officer Harpreet Singh Sidhu and Ludhiana-based Kamaljit Singh Boparai had brought the plume from England on July 1, 2009, and Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh and his predecessor Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti had personally received it at the Rajasansi airport. Devotees lined up on the 10-km stretch from the airport to Golden Temple complex, where it was put up for viewing for two days and then shifted to a strongroom.

But since Sidhu and Boparai could not tell where they got the plume from, its authenticity came under question.

A probe committee was then constituted by the SGPC. The panel ­ comprising Rajya Sabha member Tarlochan Singh, Dr Kirpal Singh, historianexperts Dr Balwant Singh Dhillon, Dr Sukhdyal Singh, Harbans Singh Chawla, Mohan Singh, Mohinder Singh, SP Singh, SGPC secretary Dalmegh Singh, and Boparai himself ­ met only once, in Chandigarh in August 2009. Boparai and Harpreet Singh Sidhu flatly refused to tell from where they had got the plume.

Though no probe report was ever submitted, their refusal became the key to the decision.

There was also talk of carbon dating examination to ascertain the plume's age, but the overall negative feedback from across the religious and scientific spectrum sealed the decision, revealed to HT on Monday by SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar.

“The donors of the plume were not ready to reveal the source, we have finally concluded that this plume is not the one worn by the Guru,“ Makkar said, adding that the plume would now be sent back.

Kuldeep Mann, Hindustan Times, Tuesday 11th Jan 2011.

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