Senior Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Badal today opposed the proposed auction of a model of the Golden Temple gifted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying it was a “sacred symbol of the gift and blessings of the Akal Purakh and the Guru Sahibs and that its auction would be grossly disrespectful.”
“It would also harm the religious sentiments of the Sikh community,” he added in a message on X, formerly Twitter.
The model is part of the fifth e-auction of gifts received by PM Modi which began earlier this month. Also going under the hammer are replicas of the Sun Temple at Modhera in Gujarat, the Vijay Stambh in Chittorgarh and a painting of a ghat in Varanasi. A total of 900 objects will be auctioned, some of which have been exhibited at the National Gallery of Modern Arts.
Saying he was “deeply saddened” by the inclusion of the “sacred model of Sachkhand Sri Harmandir Sahib”, he said it was presented to Prime Minister Modi by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.
“This model has been presented as a sacred symbol of the gift and blessings of the Akal Purakh and the Guru Sahibs… My humble request to the Prime Minister to immediately stop this auction. If the government feels unable to manage this sacred and priceless gift, so I request that this sacred symbol be kindly returned to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee,” his message read.
The Prime Minister had announced the exhibition on X, saying the exhibits were a “testimony to India’s rich culture, tradition and artistic heritage”.
“Starting today, an exhibition at NGMA will showcase a wide range of gifts and memorabilia given to me in the recent past. Displayed at various programs and events across India, they bear witness to the rich culture, tradition and artistic heritage of India,” he posted on October 2.