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. Rafay Kashmiri says:

    East Punjab,

    I am 4th generation of Amritsar’s Kashmiri origin
    My Great Grand Father Dr.Nabi Baksh Baba was a
    Kashmiri national. Medical Doctor in Brit-Indian
    Army was Transfered to Amritsar along with his
    colleague Dr.Nickelson in 1857, since then settled
    in East Punjab.
    My Grand-Pa Munshi Abdel Hakeem (Accountant) was born
    in Kashmir Srinagar or Anantnag? was only one year
    old when left for Amritsar 1856-1954 burried in Pindi.
    My Abba jan was born in Amritsar 1915 lived in Sharifpura,
    we had many relatives living in Ludhiana called Wyne, Dars
    Mirs, and in Patiala,’Watala’, Gordaspur and Pathankot.

    My Nanajan was also Kashmiri from Amritsar, named
    Muhammed Hussain Khusnood, Head post-man and
    a poet in Punjabi, Farsi, Urdu Sarieki and Gormukhi, his Kalaam and awards & medals are still suppose to be in
    Darbar Sahib’s Museum, He was a bosom friend of Sufi Tabbassum, we had other many Family relatives in Amritsar,
    were Poets, Dramatistes, Intellectuals and traders mostly Pashminah, Silk, etc. etc.
    We lost many maternel family members in Amritsar,
    Gordaspur, Pathankot in 1947 killed hacked in their
    homes, by the Sikh neighbours of 100 years.
    My mamijan and my cousin were burned alive in the local
    mosque, Its very difficult to forgive and forget, although
    I was not even born, never met them, but it gives me a
    feeling not very pleasant, in my young age I read a book
    Khak-o-Khoon by Naseem Hijazi, then there was another
    book titled as Amritsar ‘Jal raha hay’, we had these two
    books but were quietly sitting in our library’s cupboards.
    My parents never wanted to read these books, I remember,
    when ever we had a get-together of old Kashmiris in our
    house in Karachi, they discussed nothing else than
    “Ambersar ” sweet city. But thank AlMighty, non of them
    ever returned to their left over cities, and I admire their
    corrage and determination for Pakistan.
    Pakistan Zindabad


  2. simran says:

    I read the article & was so overwhelmed by knowing that there still are sikh families in our ancestral land where my grandparents grew up. I am a Peshawri trying to find my family history if any of the town i belonged to {Uttmanzei( paternal grandmother) & Banda Basali, Rawal Pindi ( maternal)}. If given a choice someday would love to visit these places where if the partion wudnt have happened i had been near & close to my roots. Remembering the tales i heard from my grandparents of their brotherhood with all humans in the prosperous land gives me goosebumps while i write this, & tears flowing one can only imagine how life would be in this country now called Pakistan.
    My heart going to all those Hindus, Muslims & Sikhs who have suffered & are still suffering the loss of their loved ones & memories during the partition.

    Simran Kaur Gulati

  3. I am a sikh from The indian side of punjab(Ludhiana).
    I felt very delighted to know the views of the people on the other side of the border. I think we people should rise above the madness of 1947. As i have done my post graduation in history i can very clearly see that partition was caused by few people with vested interests on the both sides of the border and also the british who wanted that after we (british) leave India the people should not get united against us but rather continue to fight among themselves.

  4. Harpreet Singh Jolly says:

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa,Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh..!
    (Pure peoples of The GOD, The GOD will be victorious)

    I am 3rd generation migrated sikh.My Great Grand father & grand father was migrated from Jhelum Dist. (walwaal Town as they used to tell me).

    I don’t know why but i always want to be there on same “Sarjamee” of my ancestors. In 1996 i got an opportunity to visit Pakistan on a religious tour of “historic Guruwaras”.

    I found people of pakistan (at least with whom i interacted with) are friendly with our group. may be because we speak same punjabi language. I don`t know but my eyes was searching some thing which my ancestor had lost in 1947.

    One incident, which i want to mention, during my visit in Lahore fort. When we were in museum there was two big rooms were there which only Sikh were allowed to be no Pakistani were allowed. Those rooms were having various articles & paintings related to days of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh & Sikh.

    I don’t know why Pakistan government were not allowing there new generation/people to know about actual history & people who were there for many years.

    There was a young kid who was with his father, while checking a painting of Anglo Sikh war in the museum. Said it was “Hindu” who were fighting with museum .For a while i thought i should tell him the actual meaning but i believe it people of Pakistan who should be responsible enough to create awareness & take care of the heritage. I hope they do….!

  5. What an appropriate and civilized way of informing people..

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