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Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Sikhs seek answers from Civilised World

The Sikhs seek answers from Civilised World

B.S.GorayaJul 27, 2007
The Sikhs seek answers from Civilised World
Sikh Shrines in Pakistan: 60 years of Deprivation and
Indifference
It is 60 years now that the Sikhs have been departed
from the places where their religion was born.
Followers of no other religion in world have been as
cruelly deprived from pilgrimages as the Sikhs have
been. The Sikhs seek answers to the following
questions from the civilised global society.
1. Jerusalem is a pious city for Jews, Christians and
Muslims, can any of these religionists be barred from
this city?
2. Hajj to Mecca by a Muslim is necessary at least
once in his life time. The Caliphate has been shifting
from Mecca to Baghdad (Mesopotamia) to Damascus Syria
to Turkey. During the days of Ottoman Empire all the
Arabs fell to it. Did the empire impose restrictions
on pilgrimage to Mecca?
3. Mecca is situated in Saudi Arabia. The country had
had strained relations at some point of time with
Yemen, Iraq or Iran. Did Arabia impose restriction on
pilgrimage by the citizens of their enemy country?
4. In the first place only a limited number of
pilgrims are allowed to visit their shrines in
Pakistan. Why the India and Pakistan immediately stop
Sikh pilgrimages in the event of even a slight tension
between the two?
5. Kailash Mansarovar the Hindu temple in Himalayas is
situated in China. In Sept. 2003 the Indian Prime
Minister Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee seeks a free
corridor to shrines for pilgrimages. It takes a month
long trekking to reach to that shrine. On the other
hand the Pakistan Govt agreed in the year 2000 to
grant a free corridor to the first shrine of Sikhs
namely Kartarpur Sahib. But the Indian Govt is not
allowing its Sikh citizens to go to Kartarpur which is
just 3 Kms from border. Why this discrimination?
6. Govt of India grants from the state exchequer Rs.
25000 per head on pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar.
On the other hand Nankana the birth place of Guru
Nanak in Pakistan is just 120 Kms from Amritsar. The
Govt of India has started a bus service after a
reluctance of 57 years to Nankana from Amritsar.
Instead of subsiding the fair the Govt is charging Rs.
1500 per head i.e 25 times more than the normal bus
fare prevalent in India. Should it happen in a secular
coutry?
7. As and when a Sikh expresses his desire for
pilgrimage to Pakistani shrines the CID people
silently land at his house to harass him. What is the
logic of a vigilance enquiry which was even earlier
conducted when the citizen had applied for a passport?
8. Vatican is a sovereign state in Italy and any
Christan can visit it without any restriction. Why has
the Italian Govt so liberal? Why it conferred special
status to Vatican?
9. Govt of India allows any pilgrimage by any Budhist
of any country to Bodh Gaya. Why?
10. Hinduism is famous for its mammoth religious
gathering called the Kumbh Melas which at times run a
year long. Why does Govt of India spends hundreds of
crore rupees on these?
11. The Govt even allows naked sadhus to attend and
have bath at kumbh melas. There have been riots
because of this. But still the Govt facilitates the
pilgrimage of naked saints? Some one says the Govt
honours peoples beliefs and traditions so that the
citizen might be kept happy in what ever temperament
and nature one remains convenient and happy after all
the peoples beliefs matter a lot.
12. Why this gesture from Govt is missing in case of
Sikhs?
13. Can we keep the Hindus away from the pious Ganga?
Can we withhold the Jagan Nath Yatra for a year? Can
we afford to stop the Urs of Delhi and Ajmer? Can we
suspend Hajj to Mecca? Then how do we suspend
pilgrimages to Nankana the birth place of Sikhism at
our sweet will?
14. There is a temple right inside the G.T Road
between Phagwara and Goraya. There is a mosque right
in the railway tracks at New Delhi railway Station.
Similarly there are mausoleums at the air strip of
Amritsar and Jammu airports which had to be kept
intact. Is it not that that the road route can be
altered but not our beliefs and traditions?
15. There at the tomb of Sheikh Brahm right on the
Indo-Pak border towards the Indian side in the
Khemkaran sector, the BSF had been allowing Pakistani
Muslims to pay their obeisance without any passport or
visa. When the Sikhs sought similar permission to
Kartarpur sahib, again a border shrine the Govt of
India cruelly stopped the Pakistani pilgrims to Sheikh
Brahm tomb too. Why?
16. At the R.S.Pura in Jammu the Pakistani brothers
are being allowed to visit the Chamlial tomb without
any Visa or Passport. We pray that India does not stop
that too in view of heightened Sikh demand as it did
in the case of Sheikh Brahm.
17. On April 13, 2004 the Sikhs celebrated 400th year
of crowing of Lehna as the Second Guru of Sikhs and
wanted recreation of history i.e the Sangat moving
from Kartarpur sahib to Khadoor sahib. But the cruel
Govt did not allow that too. It would have involved a
journey of just 3 kms in Pakistan territory.
The same Govt deploys its might to protect the
progress of pilgrims to Amar Nath in Jammu and Kashmir
where the Kashmiris are fighting for their freedom.
Why this double standard?
Are we not a secular country?
In the end the Sikhs make a humble appeal to the
justice loving citizens of the world to please impress
upon the Govt of India to allow Sikhs to visit their
holy shrines in Pakistan. It has become all the more
important because. it is now a question of :-
NOW OR NEVER
A Sikh who was roughly 15 years old in 1947 i.e at
the time of Sikhs exodus from now called Pakistan is
now 75 years of age. And there are very very few
people left from respective areas in Pakistan who
correctly remember the historic, religious and
cultural places they left in 1947. If we loose those
last connections we will be loosing many of our places
for ever. It is thus a crucial time we are passing
through and something need to be done.
There is thus a need to make appeals to the Govt of
India and Pakistan to allow Sikhs free pilgrimage to
Pakistani Sikh shrines now, on humanitarian grounds.
Every influential Sikh has a responsibility on this
accord to do. Sikh sitting overseas may impress their
respective local representatives to pass resolutions
in their respective forums, assemblies etc making
humble appeals to Govt of India and Pakistan.
The United Nations Organisation may also be approached
that they should also take up the issue of
International pilgrimages and create conditions where
the peoples faiths and traditions are also honoured by
the respective Govts.
Concerned Govts be asked to show their kindness,
sympathy and piety to Sikhs so that they can have
darshan of their shrines from where they were departed
60 years ago.


B.S.Goraya
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