AMRITSAR: Fearing outside interference in the religious affairs of Sikhs, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has opposed the inclusion of Golden Temple in the UNESCO list of world heritage sites.
"Golden Temple doesn't need recognition from any organization. It is a heritage in itself. It is the abode of the Guru; we can't even think about such a thing," SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar told TOI on Tuesday.
According to reports, the government has submitted a list of 46 monuments and sites, including Golden Temple, to the world heritage committee of UNESCO for listing them on the heritage list. The issue came to fore after the committee announced its 39th session from June 28 to July 8 at Bonn (Germany), to consider requests for inclusion of new sites on the world heritage list.
Makkar clarified that anything that would deprive SGPC of the management of Golden Temple and maintaining its 'maryada' (religious code of conduct) would tantamount to be direct intervention in religious affairs of the Sikhs, which wouldn't be tolerated. He said he was not aware of the government submitting the list with UNESCO that had name of the Golden Temple.
All India Sikh Students Federation (Peermohammad) president Karnail Singh Peermohammad said, "Sikhs will not tolerate any outside intervention in maintaining their religious place." He questioned the need to get the Golden Temple declared as heritage site by a foreign organization. "This appears to be a sinister move by some vested interests and will be opposed," he said.