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The Future Of Gurdwaras In Pakistan


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Only samadhis? They are much more than that. They are a visible link to the collective heritage of the Sikh Nation. And you disrepect Maharaja Ranjit Singh by addressing him common.

There are plenty of other organistions who will build schools and hospitals. But none of those are going to resurrect our heritage.

UK = Paji the true heritage of the Sikh Panth is that it's the only Qaum that thinks about Sarbat Da Bhala rather than just selfishly for itself. If that Samadhi heritage was so important to us it should have been thought about in 1947. But at the time, the tactical decision was made to separate ourselves away from our historical cradle for the Panth's protection from the murderous ethnic cleansing unleashed by the Muslims. When Pakistan is a sovereign state of almost 200 million people and we don't have any ambitions to reclaim the parts of Punjab that were stolen from us by apartheid-promoting Muslims of Punjab in Pakistan, then I think we need to put bricks and mortar heritage on the back burner and concentrate on saving a whole generation of unborn females that are being killed off in the name of sex selection. The heritage of an entire generation not being lost to drugs or setting up bakhre bakhre Gurdwara is more important. When there is less than 100% literacy in Punjab, gareeb loki converting to Christianity for lack of money to get medical help then that shows that there is still a funding and organisational gap. Once world hunger and suffering has been wiped out then by all means if there are excess funds left thereafter then maybe such heritage can be preserved. We in 2013 have too much respect for Ranjit Singh. He was greatest political leader our Panth has produced in the last 200 years but in no way was he our Maharajah or even a Sikh role model. Sikhs only have allegaince to Sarbat Khalsa - none of this European Royalty stuff, which helped result in gold on Harmandir Sahib and the alcohol culture taking root in Punjab.

I think we should take care of the old havelis and smadhs as it is a very large piece of our history. A time when we didn't have to live in fear and beg other people to take care of us. Like chatanga veer said, they are a link to our past.

However I do agree with you on this. Time and time again people appeal to help educate a student in Punjab. I think we should first take care of the people. I mean there a many thousands of poor Sikh families who lost everything they had in 1984 and the freedom struggle after. How many people go to help them? I posted a documentry on the Sikhlighar Sikhs a while back and hardly anyone cared. How can we talk about renovating buildings when there are people who can't even get clean water, have a meal every day and go to school? We should strike a balance between this and should focus on getting Sikhs more educated lift them out of poverty and then everything else will fall into place. There is a huge potential in Pakistan. A million Sindhi Hindus could easily help manage the gurdware, maybe we should focus on them and Sikhs that live there.

UK = Agreed bir'ay, I am actually a big fan of architectural heritage myself and I believe that maintaining such heritage in East Punjab can have a positive economic link with encouraging tourism. However, wasting money on heritage effectively surrendered to Pakistan in 1947 is meaningless now in 2013. I totally agree with you regarding our Siklighar, Kabirpanthi, Sanatani, Uttar Pradesh Jatav brothers and sisters. Let's help build hope for those brothers and sisters first before we worry about Pakistan.

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Become that one in a million my sibling. If you are not an Indian citizen, it is a thousand times easier to get access to Pakistan for such activities. Saving Gurdwaras for posterity is one thing and

These places aren't really gurdware anymore, a gurdwara is a doorway to the guru. The guru doesn't reside there anymore. Neither does any sangat. A place stays in good condition if it is used. We will

Very well said, I agree completely. The derelict gurdwaras are certainly an opportunity for introspection about the state of Sikhi, both in Pakistan and East Punjab. Hundreds of gurdwaras falling into

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If that Samadhi heritage was so important to us it should have been thought about in 1947.

However, wasting money on heritage effectively surrendered to Pakistan in 1947 is meaningless now in 2013. I totally agree with you regarding our Siklighar, Kabirpanthi, Sanatani, Uttar Pradesh Jatav brothers and sisters. Let's help build hope for those brothers and sisters first before we worry about Pakistan.

You make such a flippant remark about how we should have thought about it in 1947, that it makes me think you havent read the history of 1947.

We did not surrender this heritage to anyone, Each and every time we do ardas, we ask Waheguru for the sewa sambhal of these places. It is time for us to honour that ardas by conviction.

If these buildings go, then they go, thats it, there is NO getting them back.

Anyway there are plenty of organisations that do help the non-panjabi Sikhs, probably not on the scale we want, but at least they still do. The Sikh community is financially rich, we need to prioritize, and be practical with our money.

There are plenty of ways we could raise this money.

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We in 2013 have too much respect for Ranjit Singh. He was greatest political leader our Panth has produced in the last 200 years but in no way was he our Maharajah or even a Sikh role model. Sikhs only have allegaince to Sarbat Khalsa - none of this European Royalty stuff, which helped result in gold on Harmandir Sahib and the alcohol culture taking root in Punjab.

No we dont, we have the right respect for Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Its a shame you see him only as a political leader, he was a superb soldier as well, but for someone who feels that dhunda should be honoured with khalsa after his name, i am beginning to understand why.

You may not feel he is your Maharaja, but the people of Panjab did, almost to a man they did. And thats what matters.

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Please see below, 4 photos that I never knew existed, until 2 days ago. They are the Samadh of Rani Raj Kaur, mother of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, also known as Mai Nakkain, as she was the daughter of a Nakkain Sardar.

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These samadhis of the royal ladies of the Sikh Empire are situated within the grounds of the Islamia College at Civil Lines, just south west of the Chilla of Baba Farid Ganj Shakar. The samadhis are placed on a solid 10 feet high square platform. The original staircase was on the east end of the platform and led up to the samadhi of Maharani Nakain Kaur. Her samadhi is square in structure measuring 16 feet on each side surmounted by a fluted dome. The dome was topped by a metal finial, which is no longer extant. A door has been provided on each of the four sides. Inside, at the center was an 18 inches high and 3x3 feet wide platform on which was placed the stone urn containing the ashes of the second wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and mother of Kharak Singh. Her original name was Raj Kaur but she changed her name to Datar Kaur because Ranjit Singh's mother was also named Raj Kaur. She was married to the Maharaja in 1798 who lovingly addressed her as Mal Nakain. She died on 20 June 1838 and her samadhi was built around the same time.

South of the samadhi of Nakain Kaur, on the same platform is the samadhi of Maharani Chand Kaur, wife of Kharak Singh and mother of Naunehal Singh. Her samadhi is also square in construction and measures 16 feet on each side, similar to that of her mother-in-law's. Each of the four corners of the building are topped by small domed towers. In the center is a fluted dome similar to that of Nakain Kaur's samadhi, however; it was never topped with a finial and only the metal rod could be seen emanating from the top of the dome when Kanhaiya Lal wrote about them in 1884. Chand Kaur was married to Kharak Singh in 1812 at the age of 10. She claimed the throne of Lahore in November 1840 for about two and a half months following the deaths of her husband Kharak Singh and son Naunehal Singh. She challenged Sher Singh, the second son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, on the grounds that her daughter in law, Kanvar Naunehal Singh's widow, Sahib Kaur, was pregnant and that she would assume regency on behalf of the unborn legal successor to her husband's throne. Sher Singh, winning support of a rival group at the court and of a section of the army, marched upon Lahore. In July 1841, Nau Nihal Singh's widow Sahib Kaur delivered a stillborn son. This ended whatever hopes Chand Kaur had of realizing her claims. She was killed on 11 June 1842 by her maids who had been appointed by Dhian Singh in collusion with Sher Singh.
Between these samadhis, to the west is another smaller samadhi belonging to Sahib Kaur, wife of Naunehal Singh. It is octagonal in shape, about half the height of the other two samadhis and topped by a smaller simpler dome. Naunehal Singh was married to Sahib Kaur in 1837 at the age of 16. She died in 1841.

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Why restore them into gurdwaras? Sikhs are a minority of a minority in pakistan. Yes, where there is a significant sikh populations, by all means restore/renovate/preserve/conserve the gurdwaras to be used as gurdwaras but elsewhere, why not convert them into museums? Educational institutes? Libraries? So people can learn about us. So future generations can see our heritage, preserved. Instead of the whitewashed structures in india.

I think we need to look beyond their original use. We have plenty of gurdwaray. Plenty.

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We need to take control of our heritage before its all taken over by the likes of sgpc et al. and whitewashed. I think in india, it is perhaps too late. The majority of sikh architecture in pakistan however is untouched. Yes its decaying badly but there is still a lot of hope.

Karseva wale, although their intentions may be good, they do way too much damage. We need artisans to complete these tasks. And a lot of money.

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Maharaja Ranjit Singh is undoubtedly most secular and most successful King of Indian History.

Ranjeet Singh did nothing to propagate Sikhi. If he was really committed to Sikhi he could have implemented Khalsa Raj and converted everybody from Peshawar to Delhi to Sikhi. Unfortunately, he was too happy to be called " a secular Maharaja of Punjab" and spent most of hiss time drinking or in the company of harlots like that kanjri called Moran. His administration comprised of Hinduas and mohammedanss who couldn't give two hoots about Sikhi and were the first ones to betray Sikhi. True Sikhs such as Akali Phoola Singh were marginalized whilst heretics and traitors like Majithias gained prominence. It was not the golden period for Sikhs but a sad tale of missed opportunity. If only Ranjit Singh had some love for Sikhi and a modicum of vision then the entire area from Peshawar to Delhi would have been ours and we would have been a force to reckon with in the world instead of being a pathetic helpless minority with a bleak future.

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Ranjeet Singh did nothing to propagate Sikhi.

Very very wrong.

. If he was really committed to Sikhi he could have implemented Khalsa Raj and converted everybody from Peshawar to Delhi to Sikhi.

He did give extremely liberal endowments to Gurdwaras and Sikh samprdayes to help preach Sikhi though. It might be that in our history no-one gave as much finance/assets as Maharaja Ranjit Singh for the Panth. I haven't heard of anyone giving so much, I may be wrong.

However these conversions could not be done by force could they?

I would have loved to see this as well, the Great Disaster of 1947 would never have happened.

Unfortunately, he was too happy to be called " a secular Maharaja of Punjab" and spent most of hiss time drinking or in the company of harlots like that kanjri called Moran.

He wanted to be seen to be secular for a reason, that Sikhs were only something 5% population in his kingdom. What he did with his wife/wives is no business of yours or mine.

It was not the golden period for Sikhs but a sad tale of missed opportunity.

Very true, Maharaja made some very bad mistakes in his rule, which precipitated the demise of the Kingdom.

If only Ranjit Singh had some love for Sikhi and a modicum of vision then the entire area from Peshawar to Delhi would have been ours and we would have been a force to reckon with in the world instead of being a pathetic helpless minority with a bleak future.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh had a lot of love for Sikhi. Many of the Gurdwaras around Panjab and also Sri Hazur Sahib were built by him. Thousands of people were fed at these Gurdwaras.

The only way the Peshawar to Delhi area could have been ours was to either force the non-Sikh population out, or force them to convert to Sikhi. you could convince a bare 5 or 10% to convert for genuine reasons, but be realistic, Sikhi was in it's heyday at those times, people were embracing Sikhi regularly, but still our population remained small.

You have made a very harsh appraisal of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, which is totally unfair. Unless you would have preferred him to be some kind of aurangzeb type.

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  • 9 months later...

I would like to bring this to the attention of the cyber sangat again.

There are a few groups on facebook that are about this subject. Please have a look and join if you can. The more support we offer to the Pakistani Sikhs the better.

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Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of my Guru, is always on my mind. So are the other historical gurdwaras that are crumbling in Pakistan. What is the future of these Gurdwaras?

I have always despised facebook, but have since joined because i saw this guy, Syed Sarmad Sajjad, working for the restoration of these Gurdwaras.

What are the obstacles facing restoration?

What obstacles face the Sikhs after restoration, if we were to acheive it?

What will the Sikhs in 100 years time, feel about us Sikhs today, and our handling of this situation, if the Gurdwaras and their identities were to vanish from the face of this earth?

Get your thinkingTurbans on peeps.

What are your thoughts?

I am going to start with mine. The restoration is definitely possible from a financial point. The main obstacle would be getting the work done. Would it be done as per tradition as Kaar Sewa, or do we get contractors in. IF Kaar Sewa, is the Pakistan Govt going to allow thousands of Sikhs to cross the border to enter West Panjab?

Lets move on a step. Once/if they are restored, who is going to look after them?

Is Parkash going to happen?

What if we western Sikhs. paid Pakistani Sikh families to re-locate to these gurdwaras and maintain them.

But then the question begs, what about the sangat?

What would be the viability of running a gurdwara where the same 4 or 5 people of one family came twice or thrice a day?

Some gurdwaras have been turned into schools, and colleges, some police stations, what are the chances of getting those back? Maybe we would have to purchase them back?

For each gurdwara you would also need a granthi.

What about langar?

To run a gurdwara is not very easy. But what is the alternative for these Gurdwaras?

http://www.facebook....avethegurdwaras

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And this is why Pakistan wasn't needed to be made.. :(

Muslims made the right decision by wanting to have their own country. Nehru's betrayal and Indian leadership's absolute refusal to do something about legitimate Muslim concerns empowered the factions within Indian Muslims who wanted to get a separate land.

Pakistan treats Sikhs very well. Met a couple of apnay sardars from Pak in Dubai--they were really happy and told me great stories of love they get from Muslims.

However, they have concerns about Sikh heritage and especially about Islamic extremism/sectarianism rising in Pak.

Sikhs in Pakistan have their own marriage act recognized in Law, and Sikhism is regarded as a separate, independent, and unique religion of its own. Both of these things aren't present in India.

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