TikTok videos, selfies banned inside Golden Temple premises

The move came after several TikTok videos shot on the temple premises to the tunes of romantic songs went viral on social media

Golden Temple
Due to entry restrictions in view of the coronavirus pandemic, not more than 1,000 people gathered at the shrine. Representative Photo: PTI File

The Golden Temple management has prohibited making TikTok videos and taking selfies inside the premises in the wake of such videos showing the visitors dancing and playing songs, going viral on social media.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), apex religious body of Sikhs, on Saturday (February 9) pasted posters inside the Golden Temple complex, warning devotees not to shoot TikTok videos inside the Harmandir Sahib. “TikTok is prohibited here,” read one such poster.

The move comes a day after Giani Harpreet Singh, head priest of the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhs, had said banning mobile phones inside the Golden Temple complex would have to be “thought over” if visitors continued to shoot TikTok videos inside the holiest Sikh shrine.

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TikTok is a short-video platform which is extremely popular among youngsters globally, including India. Owned by China-based ByteDance, it has about 200 million users in India.

“We want all devotees to visit the Golden Temple without any hassle and are not in favour of imposing any such (mobile) ban, but the way the incidents of TikTok are surfacing, I think imposing the ban on carrying mobile phones inside (Golden Temple) will have to be pondered over in the future,” Jathedar had told reporters in Amritsar on Friday.

The Jathedar (head priest) had also pointed out that some of the devotees even argued with sewadars (workers) upon being stopped from clicking photos inside the premises.
Photography and videography in the precincts of the Golden Temple have already been banned by the SGPC to avoid any “disturbance” to the spiritual atmosphere.

A few days ago, a TikTok video shot inside the temple by three girls with a Punjabi song playing in the background had gone viral on social media, prompting the SGPC to take a stern view.

It was the second such incident in a short span of time as in January, a police complaint was lodged against a girl for hurting religious sentiments of Sikhs after she shot a dance video inside the Darbar Sahib complex. Later, the girl had to apologise.

(With inputs from agencies)

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