Context: The Union Home Ministry has granted Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration to 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, 2010, registration to receive foreign donations for specified purposes.
- According to the 2010 Act, registered NGOs can receive foreign contribution for five purposes — social, educational, religious, economic and cultural.
- 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, which serve as free community kitchens.
- Construction of the Amrit Sarovar (pool of nectar) was initiated by Guru Amar Das, the third Guru, in 1570 and was completed by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Guru.
- His successor, Guru Arjan Dev began work on the building after inviting Mian Mir, the Sufi saint, to lay its foundation stone in 1588.
- Three years later, the Harimandar Sahib, or Darbar Sahib got completed.
- In step with Sikhism’s basic tenet of universal brotherhood and all-inclusive ethos, the Golden Temple can be accessed from all directions.