Picture of the Day: Khalsa Dawakhana

Posted on September 30, 2006
Filed Under >Cemendtaur, Minorities, People, Photo of the Day, Religion
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Guest Post by A. H. Cemendtaur
In the history of South Asia, 1947 was a blood-soaked year – hundreds of thousands got killed while millions were uprooted from their ancestral lands. Prior to 1947 Sikhs lived everywhere in North-Eastern area of what is today Pakistan. I hang my head in shame knowing that presently there is only a small number of Sikhs left there.

I have been a great fan of Sardars – more so after a community of them saved my life in Lusaka, the year was 1992. I got sick while traveling and sojourned at a Gurdwara (Singa Singa Mesquita). The family that took care of the temple took me to the hospital and fed me. I don’t recall their names, but I remember there was a young man who pursued a modeling career and wanted to go to the US.

Compared to followers of other faiths, a practicing Sikh must find it very hard to conceal his identity. And that is the reason I always wondered what professions Sikhs in Pakistan took, and how they kept a low profile in the rising tide of hollow religiosity of the majority.

In my last trip to Pakistan I ran into a very colorful Sardar. He was a hakim who ran a Yunani matab called “Khalsa Dawakhana.”

Here is video footage of Hakim Sarber Singh.

“Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh.”

Besides writing fiction, A.H. Cemendtaur writes on contemporary issues, both in Urdu and English. This post was originally posted at Karachi Photoblog; thanks to iFaqeer for suggesting it for ATP.

43 responses to “Picture of the Day: Khalsa Dawakhana”

  1. Watan Aziz says:

    Too often, we blame the madness of 1947 with an explanation, excuse and color of religion.

    It is an over simplification of a surreal moment in time when people were mislead by fast moving events. Fear, uncertainty, loss of control over affairs, economic loss and indeed leadership bent on exploitation will create mob actions.

    Sikhism does not teach violence, nor does Islam.

    The madness of 1947 should really be revisited as an administrative (read, real bad administration of transition, lack of planning and hurry to the exit door) matter.

    The British empire was under constraints. The weight of the reconstruction at home after WWII and the strained British could not continue to sustain any prolongation of the India as part of the empire. By 1947 the British had already asked the American to assume responsibility of Turkey.

    Within India, the independence movement had matured into a reality of itself and the major parties (both Congress and Muslim League) were directing if not totally running the local affairs. The provincial governors were in name only. Finally, the returning and battle hardened Indian soldiers of the empire could no longer be relied upon as compliant.

    On February 20, 1947, Atlee

  2. Pushpinder Singh says:

    I was very touched by the comments that I read, specially those of Simran Kaur.

    I am Sikh living in Canada. I came to Canada from Punjab India when I was five years old. My grandmother used to tell me many stories about the seperation. There is a canal near my village in India. My grandmother used to tell me that she used to see nothing but bodies floating in the canal coming from up stream. There were not very many killings in my village. Today my village in India, at least 25% of the people are Muslim.

    I have heard of many stories of killings on both sides. Even though I am so removed from the region, having grown up in Canada, it still bothers me. The stories of my grandmother still haunt me. This is something that has troubled me my whole life. Sometimes I do feel hate in me, but I know that I have to let it go and make sure that I do not pass on the hate to my children. It is a shame that there are not many Sikhs left in Pakistan. However, I think we all need to get past this.

  3. Rehan says:

    I honestly feel people should not fight in the Name of Religion. Be it Christain, Hindu, or Sikh. Allah has created everyone equally. People waste there time fighting for no reason.

    My Grandmother would tell storys of the partion. Hindu and Muslim killing eachother. After traveling all over the world and meeting so many people from different religions has made me realize that all this fighting and bad mouthing each others religion is of no use.

    Somewhere we have to cut a line. Educate our selves. My fellow Muslim brothers have not been taught by Allah to take guns and shoot other people from other religion. If you actually read the Quran. Quran mentions to treat people with respect. Especially younger, older and woman with respect.

    The Muslims brothers who are killing other people on the name of Allah are doing wrong.

    When I was in Karachi last year I met this man probably in his 80’s. We sat down in a tea shop and chatted for hours. He explained how the Quran has been changed and how people are fighting on the name of Allah. Allah would never want to see the people kill other people on his name.

    If other countries are doing bad to Muslims doesnt mean we start killing them. Its time to come together and prove to the world Mulims are not bad people.

    Allah is given so much to all of us its time we give back to the community.

    I will end with one thing …….. I pray all this terror ends all over. Who ever is doing wrong in the name of Allah should be equally punished as much as other people from other religions do evil to anyone.

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