NEW DELHI: Following strong objection from the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC), the South Delhi Municipal Corporation has dismantled a replica of the Golden Temple, sacred pilgrimage site for Sikhs, being erected at a mega municipal park here.
Manjinder Singh Sirsa, president of DSGMC, said the “structure” was jointly removed by the SDMC and labourers arranged by the committee. “Besides our workers, municipal labourers and cranes were pressed into service to pull down the replica. I talked to the municipal commissioner on Monday and lodged our objection. He readily agreed and within an hour removal of the structure began,” said Sirsa.
However, SDMC commissioner Gyanesh Bharti and director (horticulture) Alok Kumar refused to comment. The SDMC, last year, started developing Bharat Darshan Park, spread over 8.5 acres in Punjabi Bagh, where miniature models of country’s 17 prominent heritage and tourist sites, created from junk metal, are to be placed.
Besides the Golden Temple’s replica, the agency planned to install models of Mysore Palace, Charminar and Khajuraho Temple.
Significantly, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri had laid foundation of the project in January last year. Sirsa on Monday tweeted that the structure hurts religious sentiments and he had discussed the issue with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and the municipal commissioner.
Another such action by Delhi Municipal Corporation that hurts Sikh sentiments!
Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar is not a tourist spot that can be replicated. It is the Sanctum sanctorum for Sikhs and seeing a replica for touristy offends us to the core @tweetndmc pic.twitter.com/y3iE2CokQ5
— Manjinder Singh Sirsa (@mssirsa) June 21, 2021
“Another such action by Delhi Municipal Corporation that hurts Sikh sentiments! Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar is not a tourist spot that can be replicated. It is the sanctum sanctorum for Sikhs and seeing its replica for tourists offends us to the core,” he tweeted.
South Delhi Mayor Mukesh Suryan said the proposal of installing the replica has not been scrapped yet but postponed to reach a consensus. “Efforts were made to depict the culture of the country. How can it hurt anybody’s sentiments? Those who are objecting now were present when the foundations were laid. They are trying to politicise the matter,” he said.