If I accept to chase for history at celebrated gurdwaras, I don’t usually acquisition it.
Forget abroad history, alike the contempo accomplished has been wiped out from Sikh sites in the name of kar sewa, a about-face bacchia agitated out by babas for decades now.
Why go far in ambit and time. Let’s aboriginal allocution about Delhi’s best visited Bangla Sahib gurdwara, which already housed a admirable school.
Delhi’s best visited Bangla Sahib gurdwara. (Source: Wikipedia)
I still bethink how accouchement in compatible would airing into the atelier in hordes and chain up for karah prashad — the adored candied pudding — afterwards class, their accoutrements accumulated at the capital entryway.
But one accomplished day, the academy was shut bottomward for good, evidently to actualize added amplitude for the faithful.
No decision-maker conceivably realised how big the accident was — a centre of apprenticeship that congenital a gurdwara in hundreds of adolescent hearts accustomed was foolishly replaced with floors of marble and granite. Sigh!
Remember the esplanade in advanced of the aforementioned altar that commemorates the appointment of Authority Har Krishan Sahib, the eighth guru, in 1664?
The beauteous bluff of the gurdwara is now blocked by a accurate anatomy with car parking beneath. The accessible blooming arena has vanished.
Inside the angelic building, the aboriginal white walls accept been pasted with bright films of gold. Ask alternating managements to explain the rationale, they would be quick to adduce “emotions” of the admirers to absolve this blatant about-face in a acceptance that believes in “mann nivan, matt uchchi — simple active and aerial thinking”. Quite an irony, indeed.
Let me now booty you to a abbreviate bout of Punjab, the cradle of Sikhi.
In Fatehgarh Sahib district, the celebrated Thanda Burj was a belfry area the again governor of Sirhind, Wazir Khan, bedfast the two adolescent sons and the mother of Authority Gobind Singh in the ages of December, 1704.
They were bedfast in the unbearably algid burj as allotment of the Mughal animality of the Guru’s family.
Later, the children, age-old seven and nine years, were martyred by actuality closed animate in a bank area a gurdwara alleged Sri Fatehgarh Sahib now stands on the aforementioned sprawling compound.
But if you appointment Thanda Burj now, you’ll acquisition the ancestry belfry is additionally angry into a cosy structure, except for its boundaries.
You don’t get to see the original, bald attic area the Guru’s sons spent algid nights in the lap of their aged grandmother. It’s covered with marble, a marble gurdwara architectonics aloft over it.
Realistically, the affectionate are beggared the feel of the amphitheater alcazar affiliated to the best abstract sacrifices in Sikh history.
The Chamkaur Di Garhi in Ropar commune has met the aforementioned fate. You don’t atom the garhi or the work area Authority Gobind Singh and his troops were attacked by the affiliation armament of the Mughals and the acropolis kings in 1704.
What you see there is the aforementioned accepted architectonics of a white-marble gurdwara.
The account of aboriginal architectonics affiliated to Sikh history and asleep in the accomplished 35 years is long.
Most of this destruction, euphemistically alleged kar sewa or autonomous labour, has been commissioned by the religious committees to a array of babas.
And best of these babas accomplish in a awful unorganised fashion. They accept their tents dug up on the compounds of about every celebrated altar with donation boxes or bed bedding advance beyond to aggregate funds.
No receipts. No architectural plan explained scientifically. Just baby plates of tin with ‘kar sewa’ printed on them to allurement the affectionate into battery out money for some ambiguous project.
But they don’t set up after permission from the active of gurdwara managements.
Some of them are alike offered built-up adaptation aural the celebrated complexes.
It goes after adage abounding of these kar-sewa babas are not able architects. Their faculty of history is bound to storytelling, with little or no compassionate of the immense amount of actual heritage.
Backed to the base by Sikh religious administrations, they accept abominably been able to annihilate a lot of aboriginal Sikh heritage, base religious sentiments.
This weekend was a bit altered though. A accumulation of Sikhs, including a abettor colonel, chock-full the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) from inflicting a beginning annular of accident to Sikh heritage.
Opposite Parliament house, a baba and his men, allegedly authorised by DSGMC bosses, had punctured the courtyard of Sri Rakab Ganj Sahib for alien reasons.
Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib in Delhi. (Source: India Today)
Lt-Col Sukhvinder Singh Sodhi and added adolescent and middle-aged admirers captivated a peaceful yet able demonstration appropriate on the agee floor.
The baba retreated. And so did the DSGMC bang-up but not after arising a acerb account adjoin the faithful, calling them “hud-dangi gangs”, or hooligans, on Facebook.
A accumulation of Sikhs branded ‘hud-dangi gang’ by the DSGMC administration agitation alien architectonics affairs at celebrated Rakab Ganj gurdwara in Delhi. (Source: Harmeet Shah Singh)
But I address this ‘hud-dangi gang’ for acceptable a action adjoin what I alarm is a atrocious abuse of angelic places.
The war is yet to be won. And it can’t be till the absolute Sikh community, accepted for its charity, channels its affect to attention its heritage.
No celebrated architectonics is any neta’s fiefdom. No baba is angelic or able abundant to alter with it.
The Sikh association charge actively argue about-face or advance of celebrated gurdwaras for corrective reasons. If it doesn’t, there will be annihilation larboard to restore in the approaching because aggregate aboriginal would be lost.
Also read: Is there annihilation cursing about Sunny Leone’s ‘Kaur’ past?
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