Thursday , 29 February 2024
Thursday , 29 February 2024

Desecration of a Religious Place in Pakistan

  • 23 Nov, 2023

All round condemnation after a video serving alcohol and meat etc at Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan goes viral

The Rising Panjab Bureau

The fear that was raised when non-Sikhs were appointed to control the management of gurdwaras in Pakistan and the Kartarpur Corridor in 2021 due to their having little or no knowledge of Sikh Maryada, seems to have come true as a viral video of allegedly serving meat, alcohol and hosting of a dance party at the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara complex is doing rounds. Reports suggest that the party was organised by Sayed Abu Bakar Qureshi with around 80 attendees including Narowal Deputy Commissioner. The incident has incensed the Sikh community the world over which is condemning the incident as “shameful”.  The community has demanded immediate dissolution of the Project Management Unit (PMU) headed by Muslims whose actions have hurt the sentiments of Sikhs.  Sikh leaders have demanded that the management of the Gurdwara Sahib be handed over to a Sikh body that “adheres to Sikhi ethos and principles”.  Calling the incident “unacceptable”, Jagdip Singh Kahlon, General Secretary of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management has strongly condemned it demanding the Pakistan government to initiate action against those responsible.  The incident considered as “sacrilege” has also been taken up with the Charge D’Affaires, Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.

Surprisingly, Pakistan’s Kartarpur management that has come under intense criticism by the Sikh community has denied the allegations clarifying that dinner reception was held about two kilometers from the Gurdwara premises in the PMU complex. The clarification seems to be an exercise in vain to ‘cover up’ and control the damage already done.  The officials of the PMU of the Gurdwara Sahib have now termed the video as “doctored for propaganda purposes”.  Though the PMU claims that the event was held for stakeholders for the development of Phase-II of Kartapur and providing better facilities to the visitors, it is beyond comprehension how a party serving alcohol, meat and hosting dance could be justified for the stated purpose!  The PMU certainly needs to come out with more pliable explanation to defend the indefensible.  

The widely condemned incident is not the first of its kind where desecration of one of the most revered religious places of the Sikh community has taken place.  Earlier, a Pakistani model had apologized after she was spotted shooting barehead at the Gurdwara Sahib in November, 2021.  After the incident triggered row, the model deleted her controversial images from her Instagram page.  In one more such incident of beadbi, Pakistan’s Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) belonging to Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC) had printed a cigarette advertisement inside the wrapper of the “pinni parsad” meant for dovotees visiting the Gurdwara.

It is thus obvious that Pakistan is a serial offender when it comes to respecting other faiths.  Sikhs who are in minority in Pakistan have faced constant persecution there with many of them getting killed, kidnapped and converted.  Even minor Sikh girls are abducted and forcibly married after converting them.  The seriousness of the instant case demands that the Ministry of External Affairs of India takes up the issue strongly with the authorities concerned of Pakistan so as not to allow recurrences.  Instead of attempting to brush the desecration of the holy place under the carpet, Pakistan also needs to put its house in order.  The sooner it hands over the management of the gurdwaras there to a body that only has Sikhs on it, the better for it.

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