Kartarpur Corridor: A Path of Equality before God

By Lesia Senyshyn

Lesia Senyshyn is an Independent Ukrainian Commentator having deep interest in South Asia and Central Asia
Lesia Senyshyn is an Independent Commentator having deep interest in South Asia and Central Asia. She also holds position in Eurasia News online publication.

There are special events and dates that can resist conflict and escalation, so as to take a step towards and enable people who are united by the philosophy of Sikhism to perform their religious rites.

Pakistan despite its critical relationship with India and situation in Kashmir (read as Indian Occupied Kashmir) planned to build Kartarpur Corridor that would be able to connect two shrines: Dera Baba Nanaka Sahib in Indian Punjab and Gurdwara Barbara Sahib in Pakistani Punjab.

The parties laid stones, each on their sides and construction begun. The date of completion was chosen the Birthday of Guru Nanak Deva- the founder and the first guru from Sikhism, who in November this year turns as much as 550 years old. Tomorrow this date will arrive— November 9, 2019.

The 4.7 km long Kartarpur Corridor provides for visa-free passage of Indian Sikh pilgrims to Darbar Sahib Temple to Pakistani territory, all year round and which is ready to pass 5,000 pilgrims a day.

The opening of the Kartarpur Corridor will be an event of the world history not of Indian Pakistan history and will bring together Sikhs from all over the world and give them the opportunity to all together mark the 550th anniversary of their spiritual leader Baba Guru Nanak.

I follow Indian media as well as Pakistan media but alas Indian media is not appreciating Pakistan and its Prime Minister Imran Khan for this wonderful opportunity he is offering to peacemongers of both sides of the border.

In distant times, the Sikhs represented a special denominational group composed of Panjabians – one of the major peoples of north-western India and Pakistan. They are supporters of religious reformer guru Nanak and nine consistently interpreted and developed preachers (Gurus).

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Sikhs spoke Panjabi not long ago, predominantly, which combined them with Hindus living in the Indian state of Punjab and Muslims from Pakistan ‘s Panjab province. However, modern Hindus increasingly switch to Hindi and Muslims to Urdu, leaving Panjabi as the literary language of predominantly Sikhs.

The most remarkable and exciting for me personally is the role in the history of a particular person. A boy born in the family of a tax collector becomes a saint and spiritual leader of peoples. The ability to enter the trans, the vision of the court of God, the analytical mind and insight, become a favorable environment for the formation of a new vision of the world, through religion.

What is surprising is that he managed to infect (inspired) both Hindus and Muslims with his deep philosophy, which has a continuation in the present time.

Sikhism is considered a young religion founded in the early 16th century by Guru Nanak who born and died in land which is part of Pakistan now and who denied belonging to Islam or Hinduism and similarly did not insist on externally highlighting his teachings among others or opposing it to Hinduism or Islam.

Guru Nanak shaped his vision of God as One and Omnipresent. It is necessary to serve him not so much with prayer, religious rites and chants, although it should not be neglected as well as with a virtuous life manifested in work, generosity and friendliness. All before God are equal.

The meaning of caste and property inequality in Sikhism was denied. Nanak was the founder of the tradition of compulsory general meal in the kitchen – Langar.

Sikhs believe in the One God, but no one knows His real name. From the point of view of Sikhism, after death the soul of man dissolves in nature and returns to the Creator.

This is eloquently stated by the legend of turning the body of the deceased Nanak into a mountain of flowers, half of which were buried by Muslims and half were cremated by Hindus.

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Guru Nanak was opposed to the pilgrimage, did not recognize any material incarnations of God that others worshiped. The teaching of Sikhism states that God is neither born nor dies. He ‘s everywhere.

Guru Nanak ‘s teaching was close and understandable to people, as it was based on their equality before God, which immediately attracted to the new faith of peasants and turned Sikhism into a mighty force.

All must be equal before God, equally valuable to him: both men and women. In Sikhism, it was prohibited to give girls marriage by force, the custom of a widow voluntarily entering a burial fire to her dead husband was abolished.

While asserting the idea of a unified God, Nanak acknowledges the Hindu teaching of the relocation of souls, but condemns idolatry. Therefore, there are no sculpture images of people or gods in Sikh temples. Unlike Islam, however, Sikhism allows both deities and humans to be painted for decorative purposes.

I follow this significant event with interest through the media, and I look forward to the solemn opening of the Kartarpur Corridor and the speech of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

I want to get lost in the crowd of guests and will become involved in the general ecstasy of the celebration of the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak, to listen (without understanding the meaning) to the sacred book of Sikhs “Granth Sahib.”

For the religious postulates of Sikhs are very close to my Christian understanding.

I have a dream to visit both temples, especially since everyone can come to gurdwara, regardless of religion and nationality.

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Perhaps I will give one day of my life to volunteer zeal and wash dishes in a free dining room with people from all over the world after a joint meal.