Patiala, August 31, 2023 (The Tribune): Years after it banned all copies in March 2019, Punjabi University, Patiala, is yet to make any headway in carrying out correction and reprinting work of the encyclopedia of Sikh literature – Mahan Kosh.
Sources said it seemed that scarcity of experts, paucity of funds, undue interference of outsiders and the university’s reluctance to restart the work had virtually shelved the project.
Gurshabad Ratnakar Mahan Kosh was compiled by Sikh scholar, writer Kahan Singh Nabha, whose 162nd birth anniversary falls on August 30. It is the first dictionary of Sikh scripture and books on Sikh religion, and remains a unique reference document 96 years after it was compiled for the first time. It took 14 years to compile the first edition, which was published in 1927.
But its publication by Punjabi University hit a roadblock after glaring mistakes found in its edition forced the university to ban it and destroy all its copies in March 2019. Despite assurances, the work has never been initiated since.
Insiders said the university did not make any efforts to restart the work. “They are supposed to involve experts, but are reluctant since the matter could again attract a controversy,” an official privy to the matter said.
Vice Chancellor Prof Arvind said it was facing hiccups in the form of interference by other organisations and people. “The university will have to form a team of experts. It is tedious work. In fact, in case we restart the work, various offices contact and pressurise us to make them a part of the process. This is despite the fact that Mahan Kosh is not a religious book, but is treated as such.”
He added, “Encyclopedias keep on getting updated. But the publication of Mahan Kosh has now become a sensitive issue.”
– The Tribune.