Is it right for Sikhs to oppose the inclusion of Golden Temple in World Heritage Site list?

0

golden-temple-397886_640

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Fearing external intervention in the religious affairs of Sikhs, the community worldwide is vehemently opposing the inclusion of Sri Harmandir Sahib, also known as the Golden Temple, in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

The 39th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee will be held in Bonn, Germany in June 2015 to decide the new add-ons in the list of the World Heritage Sites. With 32 such sites already in the list, India’s proposal for 47 more sites (including the Golden Temple) will be considered by the committee this year.

However, the issue has irked some segments of Sikh community.

A petition, submitted on Change.org by a Sikh student in Belgium asking UNESCO to score through Harmandir Sahib from the tentative list, has fetched almost 15,000 signatures. The petition reasons:

To declare Harmandir Sahib as a heritage site is highly shocking to the entire Sikh community. This place belongs to the Sikh community and it is not the right of anyone to take it over. The present generation Sikh community is looking after Sri Harmandir Sahib very well and it stands as the most important place of Sikhs and Sikhism.

The Sikh community does not endorse the consideration of Sri Harmandir Sahib as a Heritage site by the Indian Government to UNESCO / UN.  This move has not been done by involving the Sikh community but has been silently done without sharing information about it to the Sikh community. In fact, it stands as a complete deceit to the entire Sikh community by offering away the rights of our holiest shrine.

The opponents also include the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), which administers the Golden Temple. Organizations such as Dal Khalsa in UK and sikh24.com assert that the site’s inclusion in World Heritage Sites is Indian government’s gambit to gain control over the holiest Sikh shrine. Undoubtedly, the resistance is entrenched in the fear that designating the Golden Temple as a World Heritage equals to an inexorable loss of control.

Is the outcry justified?

In fact, this fear stands on an illogical ground. There is never a claim of possession or supervision made by UNESCO on any World Heritage Site. Most importantly, being tagged as a World Heritage Site is a symbolic tribute for the site’s exceptional contribution to humanity, culture and heritage. The honor is combined with UNESCO’s eternal commitment to preserve site’s indispensable features.

The SGPC says that it needs no external aide in maintaining the complex – something that is justified to an extent. However, Harmandir Sahab’s inclusion in World Heritage Site may prompt enhancements around the complex. It will, at the same time, check any kind of new developments there that can harm the structure.

In fact, former general secretary of SGPC, Kiranjot Kaur, had told a newspaper that the entire social media misinformation campaign against the inclusion of Golden Temple in the list is utterly baseless.

UNESCO quotes, “World Heritage Sites belong to all the people of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located,” – few lines, which are enough to challenge the presumption of sites like sikh24.com and petition by Sikh student on Change.org.

No doubt, the continuous opposition from the Sikh community worldwide can force World Heritage Community to strike off the name of Harmandir Sahib, but imagine what a pity it would be for the citizens of India.

Next Story

Punjab Exempts Women Cops With Kids Below 5 From Frontline Duties

The decision has been approved by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh

0
police
Punjab has exempted women cops with kids under five from Covid duties. Wikimedia Commons

Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta on Tuesday barred all police personnel with medical issues, as well as women cops with children under five from the frontline duty in a bid to protect them from undue exposure to the risk of Covid-19.

The decision has been approved by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who has asked the DGP to ensure all protective and welfare measures for the corona warriors.

punjab
Measures are taken to save women officers from exposure to coronavirus. Wikimedia Commons

Read More: Equal Distribution of Tools is the Ultimate Measure of Success in COVID Battle: WHO Director-General

The DGP said there had been concerns expressed on this count during several calls received on the newly launched tele-counselling facility for anxious police corona warriors and their families.

At present, there are over 48,000 police personnel engaged in curfew enforcement and relief measures across the state and the tele-counselling facility was launched on April 20 to equip police officers and their families with additional information and skills to cope with the psychological aspects of the Covid-19 duties, including a high degree of risk of contracting infection. (IANS)

Next Story

“Jazz: The Music of Freedom, Human Rights and Liberation”, According to UNESCO

April 30 is marked as the International Jazz Day

0
clarinet-4118588
International Jass Day is coming up. Pixabay

Terming Jazz “the music of freedom, human rights and liberation”, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay has given a call to turn to jazz now more than ever; to get closer to one another on this ninth International Jazz Day, marked on April 30.

Established by the General Conference of UNESCO in 2011 and recognised by the United Nations General Assembly, International Jazz Day brings together countries and communities worldwide every April 30, to celebrate jazz and highlight its role in encouraging dialogue, combating discrimination and promoting human dignity. International Jazz Day has become a global movement, reaching billions of people annually.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s annual International Jazz Day global celebration and the event’s flagship Global Concert, initially scheduled to take place in South Africa’s Cape Town will take place online. This will also be the case with the many other events planned around the world for the day.

428px-HERBIE_HANCOCK_1999
Herbie Hancock will be hosting the Global Concert this year. Wikimedia Commons

UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue Herbie Hancock, is the host of the Global Concert this year, which features artists from across the globe, and will be streamed live on the Organisation’s site. Artists scheduled to perform at the concert include John McLaughlin, Jane Monheit, Alune Wade, John Beasley, Ben Williams, Lizz Wright, John Scofield, Igor Butman, Evgeny Pobozhiy, Youn Sun Nah, A Bu, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves and Joey DeFrancesco, among others.

Closer home, the popularity of jazz seems to be growing in India, as does its active listenership and practice.

NCR-based The Piano Man Jazz Club founder and Fulbright music scholar Arjun Sagar Gupta believes that Jazz, like another other form of art and culture, needs exposure to grow and gain popularity.

“The last five-six years has seen a renewed push towards the promotion of jazz in India, which is creating an ever increasing base of patrons and lovers of theart form. We hope that in the years to come this continues to grow, spurred on by more and more artists performing the music and more people supporting and listening to it,” Gupta told IANSlife.

During the lockdown, The Piano Man is also live streaming an online six-artiste concert to mark the occasion. Featured artistes are Bhavya Raj, Vatsal Bakhda, Manta Sidhu, Tatyana Shandrakova, Arjun Sagar Gupta and Elena Friedrich. “Jazz, for me, is at a point in India, where it is growing and we have people who want to explore this art form, both as musicians and as listeners,” Bakhda said.

Read More: AIIMS Delhi Invites Advance Appointments for Tele-Consultations

Jazz as a genre has been in the spotlight, thanks to endorsements by music’s biggest stars like Kendrick Lamar, whose album “To Pimp a Butterfly” prominently featured contemporary names from the new-age jazz world.

In celebration of the International Jazz Day, social music streaming app Resso has added a station to their latest song tab channel eQuaranTunes’ called eJazz At Home’. In addition to that, they will launch 10 mood-based playlists for every hour curated as per the vibe and time of the day. The station covers the pioneers as well as new age artists in the genre that include Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery to Kamasi Washington, Snarky Puppy and Flying Lotus among others. (IANS)

Next Story

COVID-19 Crisis Affects Cultural Industry Negatively: UNESCO

People need culture more than ever: UNESCO

0
UNESCO
As per the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the closure of heritage sites, museums, theatres and cinemas and other cultural institutions is jeopardizing funding for artists and creative industries. Pixabay

BY SIDDHI JAIN

The COVID-19 crisis is hitting the culture sector hard, says UNESCO, which has launched initiatives to support cultural industries and cultural heritage as billions of people around the world turn to culture for comfort and to overcome social isolation.

As per the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the closure of heritage sites, museums, theatres and cinemas and other cultural institutions is jeopardizing funding for artists and creative industries. It is also jeopardizing funding for the conservation of extraordinary places and the livelihoods of local communities and cultural professionals.

Please follow NewsGram on Twitter to get updates on the latest news

COVID-19 has put many intangible cultural heritage practices, including rituals and ceremonies, on hold, impacting communities everywhere. It has also cost many jobs and across the globe, artists, most of whom rely on ancillary activities to supplement income from their art, are now unable to make ends meet.

“The global nature of the COVID-19 crisis is a call for the international community to reinvest in international cooperation and intergovernmental dialogue. UNESCO is committed to leading a global discussion on how best to support artists and cultural institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, and ensure everyone can stay in touch with the heritage and culture that connects them to their humanity,” UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said in a statement.

UNESCO
The COVID-19 crisis is hitting the culture sector hard, says UNESCO. Pixabay

“Now, more than ever, people need culture. Culture makes us resilient. It gives us hope. It reminds us that we are not alone. That is why UNESCO is doing all it can to support culture, to safeguard our heritage and empower artists and creators, now and after this crisis has passed,” said Ernesto Ottone R., Assistant UNESCO Director-General for Culture.

Please follow NewsGram on Facebook to get updates on the latest news

This week, UNESCO has launched a global social media campaign, #ShareOurHeritage to promote access to culture and education around cultural heritage during this time of mass confinement. It will also launch an online exhibition of dozens of heritage properties across the globe with technical support from Google Arts and Culture.

Also Read- The Deadly Mission of Attendees of Tablighi Jamaat

The Organisation said that it will also make available information on the impact of, and responses to, COVID-19 on World Heritage sites, which are partly or fully closed to visitors in 89 percent of countries due to the pandemic.

On April 15, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Jean Michel Jarre, and the Organisation itself, will host the ResiliArt Debate online, bringing together artists and key industry actors to sound the alarm on COVID-19 impact on the livelihoods of artists and cultural professionals. (IANS)