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SGPC controls the waves, announces own channel for live Gurbani telecast from Golden Temple

Golden Temple, Amritsar. (Photo: Yash Sachdeva/Twitter)

Establishing its monopoly over broadcast of Gurbani from Golden Temple, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) today announced to launch an exclusive satellite channel for the same. The decision comes in the wake of the recent controversy over Badal’s patronised PTC channel’s decade long monopoly on the same and AAP government’s decision to make broadcast free for all.

SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami made the declaration of the channel today highlighting how a decision regarding the broadcasting rights was the sole authority of SGPC. While work is on to launch the satellite channel soon, a YouTube channel will be launched meanwhile from July 24. SGPC will not renew the broadcasting contract with PTC which will end on July 23.

This decision was taken by the SGPC executive in its meeting chaired by Dhami on the directions of the Akal Takht. Dhami emphasised that all rights of telecast and distribution of Gurbani content and copyright would be reserved with the SGPC. No other channel, web telecast firm or social media or any platform would be allowed to re-stream, download, upload the same.

The channel will be named as ‘Sachkhand Sri Harmandir Sahib, Sri Amritsar’, and will have SGPC’s prominently displayed logo in bold letters in Punjabi for its authenticity.

Dhami further elaborated that SGPC has hired a New-Delhi based telecast firm for three months initially to telecast the Gurbani kirtan and will be paid Rs 12 lakh per month. He clarified that only a three-month agreement has been made with the firm, as a stopgap arrangement, whereas SGPC has already started exercise to launch its own satellite channel too and preparations are on for official formalities and technical knowhow to operate a full-fledged satellite channel.

“We have formed a five-member committee to follow it up. The panel would meet Anurag Thakur, Minister of Information and Broadcasting and hand him over a letter seeking a request for a satellite channel. Launching a satellite channel and procuring its expensive cameras and equipment would be a time- consuming process. Moreover, we do not have trained technical staff to operate the uninterrupted telecast that was to be made worldwide. A separate technical consultant too would have to be hired. It may take us around two-three months to have an efficient set up”, he said. It may be noted that former SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur and former acting Jathedar of Akal Takht Giani Harpreet Singh had earlier raised the demand to have a separate channel.

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