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Ban on photography draws flak, SGPC justifies decision 

Amritsar, January 8

The SGPC’s move to ban photography and videography on the premises of the Golden Temple has not gone down well with Sikh scholars and devotees even as the religious body justified it saying that the decision has been taken to maintain serenity and spiritual ambiance of the shrine.

The SGPC clarified that the restriction is not applicable on photojournalists who cover visits by dignitaries and other events of religious or political significance inside the premises. Similarly, professional documentary makers, too, could be allowed to shoot films that are religious in content subject to prior permission from the SGPC.

Nonetheless, warning boards in the parikarma of the shrine, carrying the prohibitory message in three languages, have been put up. The SGPC task force has been told to keep an eye on the violators.

SGPC chief secretary Dr Roop Singh observed that selfies clicked by most of the visitors in various poses and styles with Golden Temple in the backdrop appeared derogatory.

Dr Roop Singh said: “True devotees would seldom focus on clicking pictures as they revere the shrine with utmost devotion. Others consider the shrine as a tourist spot and capture their moments in a picnic mood. We have imposed restriction on the second category of visitors. Also, hoards of visitors gather at the entrance to click pictures with their cameras and phones, thus creating hindrance in the movement of devotees at the parikrama,” he said.

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