Doors of Darshani Deodi - Controversy
Doors of Darshani Deodi
Controversy over their origin refuses to die down
Amritsar, July 7
The controversy over the contention of SGPC chief Avtar Singh that the doors of the Darshani Deodi did not originate from the Somnath Temple has refused to die down with Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) chief Simranjit Singh Mann and veteran Army officer Brig KS Kang (retd) asserting that the doors had their origin in the Somnath Temple and that these were brought by Sikhs.
Apprehending that the SGPC was in the process of “handing the silver-carved doors back to the Somnath Temple Trust”, he said a delegation of his party would inspect the doors on July 9.
After the replacement of the original set of doors for their repair, the SGPC authorities have displayed these silver-carved doors in a huge glass box near Akal Takht with a promise that these would be repaired by experts in full view of devotees and would be kept under round-the-clock guard.
Baba Kashmir Singh, in charge of the ‘kar sewa’ for the repair of doors, has asserted that there was no scope of any mischief and foolproof arrangements for the security and safety of the doors had been ensured.
“The SGPC chief may show his ignorance, but the fact is that the doors were looted from the Somnath Temple by Mughal invaders led by Mahmud of Ghazni. These were taken back by Sikh General Hari Singh Nalwa. Avtar Singh may not remember but the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai had expressed his intention to take these back from the Golden Temple but his plea was flatly refused by the then Akali Dal chief Jagdev Singh Talwandi. During his tenure as the Union Home Minister, LK Advani, too, had lobbied hard to take these doors back to Gujarat,” said Mann.
On the other hand, Chandigarh-based Brig KS Kang (retd), who claimed to have undertaken extensive research on the subject, said though the doors were looted from the Somnath Temple and were taken to Ghazni in Afghanistan by Mahmud of Ghazni-led Mughal invaders in 1026, these were brought back by 43 Bengal Native Infantry during its Afghanistan expedition under the command of Commander Stacy in 1842.
“These doors were first brought to Ferozepur and were subsequently taken to Amritsar after Maharaja Sher Singh had accorded safe passage to the regiment under British rule. In fact, these doors were offered to the Somnath Temple Trust but it had refused to take these back on religious grounds and were installed in the Golden Temple. The doors had remained at Ghazni for about 800 years. Everything is written in black and white in the regimental history,” said Kang while talking to The Tribune on the phone.