Focus: GS-II Governance
Why in news?
- The Union Home Ministry has granted Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration to the famous Gurdwara Harmandir Sahib, or the Golden Temple, in Amritsar, enabling it to receive foreign donations.
- Any association, non-government organisation (NGO) or registered society requires FCRA registration to receive foreign donations for specified purposes.
- In the present case, the foreign contribution can be used by the Sikh shrine for activities such as providing financial assistance to the poor, medical assistance to the needy and organise langars (free community kitchens).
- Sri Harmandir Sahib, also known as Sri Darbar Sahib or Golden Temple, (on account of its scenic beauty and golden coating), situated in Amritsar (Punjab), is the most sacred temple for Sikhs. This temple propagates Sikhism’s message of tolerance and acceptance through its architecture that has incorporated symbols from other religions.
- Guru Arjan Sahib got its foundation laid by a Muslim saint Hazrat Mian Mir ji of Lahore in December 1588.
- Guru Sahib made it accessible to every person without any distinction based on caste, creed, sex and religion.
- Golden Temple, the holiest shrine for Sikhs in Amritsar, attracts approximately seven million tourists in a month.
- It is gold-plated and almost 430 years old.
- Its architecture represents a unique harmony between the Muslim and the Hindu way of construction work and this is considered as one of the best architectural specimens of the world.
- It is often quoted that this architecture has created an independent Sikh school of architecture in the history of art in India.
-Source: The Hindu