Kartarpur Sahib the place where the founder of the Sikh Faith Guru Baba Nanak Sahibji, spent 18.5 years of his life as a farmer, a householder, a husband, a father while spreading the word of love, humanism, universal sisterhood and brotherhood and making sure that his followers learnt how to raise their voices against any kind of tyranny, be it state repression or social discrimination. The ‘Enlightener’ who brought the ‘revealed word’ of the ONE, with the message of love and truth through ethical conduct, so that the teeming masses could rise above the myriad issues of divisiveness and start becoming more humane and human and get on the path to become a ‘Sikh’.
The soil, the water, the trees the, the farms, the entire environment reminds every Sikh of not only the founder their faith but an ‘Enlightener’ who was concerned with the practical reality of all humans, rather than trying to save our souls. Guru Baba Nanak Sahibji brought about a revolutionary change in the thinking of the multitudes through true servant leadership by inculcating those values in the mostly downtrodden to create a community of dynamic, empathy driven, upstanding individuals who would have a spine to stand up for the meek and the weak; anywhere and everywhere. No other place can be more inspiring for a Sikh than Kartarpur Sahib!
Kartarpur Sahib can be called the first Gurdwara which was established in 1521. Bhai Dhuni Chand donated 100 acres to Guru Baba Nanak Sahibji where he started to till the land and use it for farming.
It is indeed a sad state of affairs that in Indian Punjab there is no Gurdwara left which is still standing and maintained in its original form, instead all the historic Gurdwaras are being torn down and gaudy marble laced buildings are replacing and completely destroying precious living history. The original physical structures, the trees, the immediate landscape is being purposely destroyed by the ‘powers to be’ with the help of their insidious proxies, who are primarily ‘kar-sewa gangs’ prevalent in Punjab. Even the SGPC and DGPC is hand in glove in destroying any vestiges of old history relating to the Sikh Gurus and other important historical figures.
Guru Sahibji started a community of Sikhs who lived within the close vicinity of current complex. It would be heartening to see the department of archeology and various other associated entities if they could revive all the old structures in exactly the same way as it was during that period.
The American Sikh Council (ASC) sincerely appeals and requests the Pakistan government to make sure that the entire Kartarpur Gurdwara complex is maintained in its present state, without adding anything new and/or changing the original architecture in any shape or form. Any changes and/or additions to accommodate visitors from lodging to restrooms and more must be done at a distance, away from the main complex so that the Kartarpur Sahib complex, the farms, natural areas in 100 acres of land that belonged to Guru Sahibji, and the forest areas around the river Ravi can retain as much of its originality as possible, to be preserved for posterity. The powers to be on the Indian side through ordinary Sikhs and/or the kar-sewa touts will do their best to upgrade and modernize the Gurdwara complex and that needs to be kept at bay.
It has come to our attention that some among a long list of important Sikh historic religious sites in Pakistan are already under attack by the kar-sewa modernizing brigade. These and future attempts on destroying our living heritage must immediately be stopped in their tracks. It is critical that the Waqf Board and the Pakistan Gurdwara Parbandak Committee understand the legitimate concern of the Sikhs in diaspora. The religious heritage of a living faith must be preserved at any cost as the Sikhs have already lost more than 90% of it to the vagaries of politicians, divisions of land and time.
ASC reiterates its plea to keep the Kartarpur Sahib complex in its current simplicity as that is what Guru Baba Nanak Sahibji insisted on, his entire life. Sikhs everywhere yearn to visit the Kartarpur Sahib and see the fields that our wondrous ‘Guru’ tilled with his own hands, the place where he lived, the trees he sat under and feel and touch their forehead on the same dusty soil that our ‘Guru’ walked on!
The American Sikh Council (ASC) thanks the Pakistan government for opening the Kartarpur corridor and taking this proactive step towards peace and amity of two people who have so much in common, from language to food, from poetry to clothes and so much more. The American Sikh Council (ASC) strongly supports every effort to maintain the original integrity of all important Gurdwaras, including the Kartapur Sahib complex across Pakistan.
A group of concerned citizens have started a Facebook page to monitor and report on the developments of the Kartarpur Corridor and to make concerned voices heard in regards to the development. Please connect to stay in touch. https://www.facebook.com/kartarpursahibcorridor/