Chandigarh: The SAD on Sunday accused the Punjab government of sacrilege over the 'morphing' of a picture of 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh by using one of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, a charge dismissed by the authorities as "ridiculous".
A computer-generated swapping of faces was done for the picture used in an advertisement released by the Public Relations Department to commemorate the 350th birth anniversary of the Sikh Guru, the Shiromani Akali Dal said and demanded strict action against the erring officials and the advertising agency concerned.
SAD Senior Vice President Daljit Singh Cheema said the picture shown as that of Guru Gobind Singh in the advertisement was actually of Napoleon.
"An image of Guru Gobind Singh ji's face was swapped with that of the French ruler through computer on the picture. The said painting dates back to 1800, almost a century after Guru Sahib's period. I wonder why the Congress government committed this grave sin of passing off the tampered picture as that of Guru Sahib when plenty of the Gurus' paintings are available," Cheema said in a statement here.
"The painting has the same horse, with resemblance to face, body, mane, tail, stirrups and other things shown in the Napoleon's painting. Even the clothes Guru Gobind Singh ji is shown wearing in the morphed picture are the same as Napoleon's in the original painting," the Akali leader claimed.
He sought an immediate apology from the government over the alleged morphing and removal of the painting from media and public places.
In response, the government rejected the charge of sacrilege vis-a-vis advertisements issued in connection with the 350th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh.
"The assertion is totally ridiculous. The picture (of Guru Gobind Singh) has been sourced from a Sikhism website, which is in the public domain. It was neither created nor modified by the government in any manner," the government spokesperson said.
"The Akalis, who claim to be the custodians of Sikh religion, are obviously completely ignorant about these basic facts and have merely reacted to a media report without verifying its authenticity," he added.