Background of my Connection with Kartarpur (Part 1)
Kartarpur means peace between Indian and
(This article is dedicated to our dear Mr. Tridevish Singh Maini who the other day was trying to explore my connection with Kartarpur. Others may find it boring and might avoid it.)
Guru Nanak the founder of Sikhism spent a major part of his life preaching his concept. He traveled deep west up to
Man canâ€™t rightfully assess himself and some of my close friends and critics have perhaps rightly remarked that my love for Kartarpur Corridor is â€˜skin deepâ€™ or it is â€˜mere pakhandâ€™. In a fit of sincerity, I admit them to be true the remarks on me of a Dera Baba Nanak passerby (which I over heard with guilt) are substantially correct, â€œlook this man used to come here on a broken scooter (tuttaa jiha scooter) and today he is in a brand new car. Bahron paise aundey neyâ€
But it is definitely certain that I come from the blessed land where Guru sahib spent so many years. My village where I was born (year 1951) and brought up is Alawalpur near Pakiwan / Sarje Chakk, Mir Kachana, Roora, Shahpur Goraya about 9 km east of Kartarpur in India. Since Kartarpur sahib dome is appreciably high, it is visible from my house top. It was at least clearly visible till the eucalyptus trees were planted along dhussi the raised embankment along the border.
I donâ€™t remember when I first had its darshan but I do vividly remember the clear sky sometimes in the year 1964 when ashes of Baba Boorh Singh (my grand fatherâ€™s brother) were to be immersed in river
In those good old days the villagerâ€™s source of entertainment were few and the the festivals were a major source. At Kartarpur they say the Massia the day of the moonless night festival used to a big attraction. Uncle Kartar Singhâ€™s bullocks won many a laurels at Kartarpur the Well of our Master. Baba Sampooran Singh became famous throughout the region because he could lift the well (I.e entire infrastructure of well). Later Nihang Pooran Singh of Kakkeke had interesting tales when he could still go to the shrine in the night sky to pay his obeisance while on his cattle stealing spree from the
What I feel today is that Kartarpur sahib was not only the religious epicentre of the people around it and was perhaps social and cultural centre too.
I left the village for my higher studies and obviously I lost track of Kartarpur until 1980, when my younger sister was married to Daljit Singh of Dera Baba Nanak and his farms were more close to Kartarpur border. In the end of 1988, I was transferred to
A Pakistani Minister and Kartarpur
I had the proud privilege to accompany a Jatha (troupe) of about 3000 Sikhs to Sikh shrines in
We learnt that a minister from Pakistan Federal Govt was arriving at
The sangat was at that time busy doing their matha tek while the Gurdwara Panja Sahib hall was very small. Since the sangat was still arriving the whole scene became utterly chaotic and embarrassing for the Sikhs. The truth is no body was listening to the Minister. No body was taking any initiative to save the situation. The Minister was despite continuing his address. I got up and approached
Sardar Hassani was a young minister from Balochistan and his Urdu was not easily understandable to every one. In his speech he emphasized that the Pakistan Govt was sincerely for good relations with Sikhs. After his speech, was the ardas and then the Gurdwara had arranged a tea party (langar) for Janab Hassani. Leaders of the Sikh Jatha left the Gurdwara along with Pakistani officials. But before the minister was out of the hall he looked at me (sitting) left behind.
His PA returned to me and asked me to accompany the minister. When I was in his company, the PA remarked to me, â€œSardar sahib! have you felt how the Sikhs were behaving in a stupid manner. Obviously I felt very much offended. The minister heard his curt remark but did not react. The PA started correcting himself, â€œI meanâ€¦me.. look the Pakistan Govt is taking lot of steps to keep the Jathas comfortable but the â€˜innocentâ€™ Sikhs were not appreciating it and rather our minister was insulted.
I explained him that the Sikhs were not at fault. If at fault was some one it was the management. I then spoke of the crowd behaviour what I had learnt in my MA sociology course. I told the PA how the crowd is like a ploughed field in which the farmer leader can sow any seed and it germinates. I told him, look the people were standing but when I requested them they dutifully obeyed me. So the fault was not with the crowd. The PA unfortunately passed another remark, â€œBut we understand the Sikhs are an innocent lot who is always exploited by the clever Hindus.â€ It was a second embarrassment for us all.
I said, â€œLook PA sahib! We exactly think the same of Muslims.â€ I never knew that the Minister was very carefully listening to our dialogue while Mr. Calcutta was busy with the Director and Sindhi Sikh leaders.
The minister then jumped in our discussion and very politely asked me to tell how the Sikhs think that the Muslims are a â€˜stupidâ€™ lot. He assured me he would not mind my reply what ever blunt it was. Then I started explaining.
That we have close social relationship with Hindus as compared to Muslims, though theologically our religion was closer to Islam. I said that you should tell or show the visiting Sikhs such things which brought the two people closer. The Minister asked whether could I tell some examples. I said that for example the Sikhs burn their dead ones like the Hindus do while the Muslims bury. But your should remember that a pious grave of Guru Nanak exists. Lo and behold! Every body among the
I said that is why we Sikhs think that the Muslims are innocent. The minister then hurriedly said, â€œleave that question and tell where that grave is.â€ I said it was very much in
I came back and forgot every thing about the Panja sahib episode.
In 1997 however some one told me that in Ajit daily there was Dera Baba Nanak datelined news that
In 1998 however there was a detailed article on Kartarpur sahib by Elias Ghuman of
Punjab Monitor Magazine
Sangat Langha Kartarpur
60, Diamond Avenue, Majitha Road, Amritsar