The British have kept a 350-year-old Saroop of Adi Granth for over 130 years inside the British museum. The Saroop kept in the British library is one of the 20 oldest Saroops to exist in the world.
It is dated from the 17th century (Circa 1660-1675). The original Adi Granth was compiled by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in 1604, known as the Kartarpur Wali Bir currently in the possession of the Sodhi family of Punjab.
The Saroop was purchased by the British Museum in 1884 from the Reverend A. Fisher, who had been principal of a missionary school in Amritsar in the Punjab.
The Adi Granth was completed in 1604, and installed in the Golden Temple; Baba Buddha was appointed Guru’s Granthi. Guru Arjun Dev Ji told his Sikhs that the Adi Granth was the embodiment of the Guru, and should be treated in the same fashion as they respect him. When Guru Arjun Ji first completed the Adi Granth, he placed it upon his own bed and slept on the floor. Its words were written without any spaces or breaks.
Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and last of the Sikh Gurus to take human form, dictated the entire Granth Sahib at Talwandi Sabo now called Damdama Sahib. Dhir Mal, the son of Baba Gurditta and grandson of Guru Hargobind, had taken possession of the Adi Granth; he refused to give it to Guru Gobind Singh when the Guru asked for it. Dhir Mal taunted the Guru, “If you are a Guru, then prepare your own.”
The tenth Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji added the bani of 9th Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji into the Adi Granth and in 1708 declared it to be Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the eternal Guru of the Sikhs.
The British Museum has split it’s Saroop of Adi Granth into different parts and have committed sacrilege by treating it as a book.
Manjit Singh addressed the concern in 2012 to the British Museum by stating the following:
“The Guru Granth Sahib/Adi Granth should NOT ever be dissected or kept as a ‘book’ in the British Library. This manuscript needs to be ‘reconciled’ with the remaining Adi Granth from which it was dissected. It then needs to be returned to a Sikh gurdwara (Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar) for it to be laid on its canopy and used in worship. Sikhs bow to the Adi Granth. It is NOT a ‘prayer book to be shelved and archived. This manuscript needs to be returned to the Sikh community and given the full regalia that every Guru Granth Sahib is. I would be interested to discuss this matter with the British Library.”