AMRITSAR SAHIB—A team of 11 Sikhs based in Melbourne (Australia), have developed a software to ensure respect and care of the sacred Birs of Sri Guru Granth Sahib as per Sikh tenets. This past Thursday the software was demonstrated before Giani Gurbachan Singh, appointed Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht sahib and office bearers of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee including its president Avtar Makkar and Secretary Dalmegh Singh.
The project is a technique of devising a computerized data base on the basis of a code generator as per the design of the holy Bir. Around 25,000 NRI Sikhs have signed and submitted a petition last year with the SGPC in support of the project.
While talking to Sikh24.com Lakhwinder Singh, member of Australian Sikh team, said, “keeping in mind the happenings of disrespect of ‘Shabad Guru’ at various places, we have developed this software after big efforts which will help in keeping a record of all the ‘Birs’ that the SGPC distributes to individuals and Gurdwara committees.
“The software will keep tabs on whereabouts of Guru Granth Sahib ‘Birs’, added Singh. The team also contains engineers who help the entire project match with latest computer technology.
At present no such record is being maintained by the SGPC. It hands over “Birs” of Guru Granth Sahib to an individual or to a group of representatives of some Gurdwara committees after obtaining an assurance that proper care (Sewa Sambhal) of the Birs will be taken as per the Sikh tenets. But, so far the highest religious body of the Sikhs does not have a mechanism to keep tabs on whether the ‘Sewa Sambhal’ is being done as per the tenets. It only acts when people lodge complaints in this regard or someone is intentionally disrespectful of Guru Granth Sahib.
The SGPC which is the sole printing authority recognized by Sri Akal Takht Sahib has to be informed if the Bir is moved from one Gurdwara to another or from one house to another.
Demonstrating the mechanism, Software engineer Sukhbir Singh said, “Each copy of Guru Granth Sahib has been given a unique identity number which is fed into the computer when a Bir is handed over to an individual or a group whose details are then fed into the computer. SGPC can click the ID number and ask for information on e-mail from the person in whose possession the Bir is. Similar procedure can be followed in the case of Gurdwara.”
Even as Makkar and Jathedar appreciated their efforts, they felt that more work needed to be done on the project. They pointed out some of its technical shortcomings. Team members promised to do more work on the project to remove such shortcomings. In coming days the team will visit the printing press of SGPC where Birs of Guru Granth Sahib are printed in order to address this issue. SGPC member Bibi Kiranjot Kaur was also present on the occasion.