AMRITSAR: Lakhs of Panjabis who lost their lives during 1947 India-Pakistan partition of Indian subcontinent, were remembered today at Akal Takht Sahib. A special Ardas Samagam (prayer congregation) was organised in this regard at Akal Takht Sahib, in which, tributes were paid to the victims of the partition.
Earlier, bhog (concluding ceremony) of Sri Akhand Path Sahib was held and hazuri raagis jathas of Sachkhand Sri Harmandar Sahib performed the Gurbani Kirtan.
Addressing the attendees including members of Muslims and Hindu communities, Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib, Giani Harpreet Singh said that the Governments of India and Pakistan should pass condolence resolutions in their Parliaments for the lakhs of people who lost lives during country’s partition and suffered the pain of displacement.
“While celebrating 75th anniversary of independence, the Governments of both the countries should have remembered the people who suffered pain of displacement by voluntarily passing the condolence resolutions but the Governments did not treat it as important. The Governments should pass the condolence resolutions”, said Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh.
Jathedar said that open visas should be granted with a big heart to those people who took birth before 1947 on either side so that they can easily visit their birthplace, ancestral places and religious shrines.
“Panjabis suffered the most in partition of country in 1947 followed by the Bengalis. People of two states Panjab and Bengal struggled most fiercely against British, who were then punished by dividing their states dreadfully. Both Panjab and Bengal were divided and they got their properties seized. Most of the sacrifices in the struggle against the British are of Panjabis, Sikhs and Bengalis”, said Giani Harpreet Singh.
He said while the Panjabis lost lives in big numbers, they also had to leave their lands, properties, homes and holy Sikh shrines.
“This pain is still alive in the minds of Panjabis and while they want to see their birthplace, they also long to visit their holy shrines. As stopping Muslims from going to Haj, Hindus from visiting Sri Katas Raj Temples, is a crime, similarly, it is not just to stop Sikhs from visiting Sri Nankana Sahib and other Sikh shrines left in Pakistan. It is a matter that the governments of both the countries should discuss seriously and work to grant visas with open heart to people of every faith to visit their religious shrines”, said Giani Harpreet Singh.
Meanwhile, Jathedar also expressed concern over the present situation of Panjab.
“Atmosphere of Panjab in present time is extremely worrying. Inhumane phenomena like drug addiction and ecological crisis due carelessness towards nature are taking Panjab towards the brink of destruction. Let us unite to save generations of Panjab from drugs and ecological crisis as air, water & land has become poisonous today. The responsibility towards our future generations is the duty of all and anti-religious and anti-social phenomena are not right. I appeal to people of Panjab to determine the lifestyle as per teachings of Gurus, so that the prosperity of this region is maintained”, said Jathedar.
Many Sikh shrines left in Pakistan during country’s partition are being neglected: Dhami
Speaking to the media, SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami who reached Akal Takht Sahib to attend the Ardas Samagam said although India is celebrating 75th anniversary of independence but Panjabis especially Sikhs do not forget their pain.
“During the country’s partition, a big attack was done on the culture of Panjab and the Panjab which lives in the name of Gurus was divided into two parts. Many Sikh shrines were left on the Pakistan side, of which, some are well maintained, while others are neglected. The governments should pay attention towards Sikh shrines in Pakistan”, he said.
He said it is a good decision by the Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib to remember and pay tribute to lakhs of Panjabis who lost their lives during partition of the country.
The SGPC President said that apart from Akal Takht Sahib, prayers have been held in historical gurdwaras under SGPC management to remember the victims of partition.
To a query on this occasion, Dhami said that it will be discussed with the Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib to hold Ardas Samagam every year in the memory of lakhs of people who were killed during the partition of the country.