So as I mentioned in my previous post, my friend is in Lahore at the moment, and she was given the blessed opportunity to visit Gurdwara Dera Sahib, the place where our Fifth Guru Sahib was Shaheed. We pray every single day to be able to have the open opportunity (khule darshan deedare) to do pilgramges to our centres of faith that have been separated from us during partition.
One thing that really made me feel upset is that the Gurdwara Sahib and areas around it were shut off to the Muslim public as it is peak pilgrimage season (June being the month Guru Sahib was martyred) and the Pakistani government wants to ensure full security of pilgrims. My friend essentially had to prove to the guards that she was a Sikh in order to be allowed entry.
Here’s why I’m upset:
1. The fact that security risks are that high that a sacred space needs to be monitored like that.
2. That the Gurdwara has been made into a Sikh-only place. This is in essence un-Sikh. Our Gurdwaras are to be open to all faiths indiscriminately. Pakistani Punjab is the land of Guru Nanak, a man who spent his entire life preaching love and light, so that Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs would one day sit in one communal place to share a meal.
The openness of langar is crucial to our faith. Emperor Jalal-ud-din Mohammad Akbar, Mohsin Fani, Pir Mian Mir, all of them Muslim, partook in langar, sharing the message that the entirety of humanity is one family.
While I understand that such measures may have been necessary to keep that historic Gurdwara Sahib safe, it still hurts that we are missing out on so much sangat.
During my daily ardaas, I will not only continue to pray for khoole darshan deedar and seva sambhal da daan for Khalsa, but also the open opportunity for our Muslim brothers and sisters to visit our Gurdhaam.
May Akaal Purakh keep our Punjab in chardi kala, both the Indian side, and the Pakistani side.