Vote on free telecast of Golden Temple Gurbani passes in Punjab Assembly

Azha Khan



The Chief Minister of Punjab, Bhagwant Mann government’s bill for free telecast of Gurbani from the Golden Temple, Amritsar, has passed in the Punjab Assembly.

Currently, the exclusive global rights to telecast and stream Gurbani from Sri Harmandir Sahib, belong to PTC Punjabi, owned by the Badal family. The broadcaster pays the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Rs. 2 crore annually for this.

Rabindra Narayan, Managing Director, PTC Network, said, “Gurbani is already free. All PTC Network channels are designated as free-to-air channels by the government of India. No cable operator, DTH operator, charges any money. It is also available for free on YouTube and Facebook. So how are they claiming to make Gurbani Free To Air?”

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Mann has been pretty vocal that the current Act was “misused” in 2012 to give exclusive rights to air Gurbani for the past 11 years to a TV network, owned by the Badal family. On Monday, Mann tweeted ahead of the “historic vote”. He said, “With the blessings of God, we are going to make a historic decision tomorrow, as per the demand of all devotes, we are adding a new clause in the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925 that the transmission of Gurbani from Harminder Sahib will be free for all… no tender required… tomorrow in the cabinet… on June 20, a vote will be taken in the state assembly.”