UK jatha refuses kar seva
Finds SGPC resolution unacceptable

Amritsar, August 22, 2001
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Even as Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha (United Kingdom) which had carried out gold-plating of the Golden Temple has expressed its inability to accept the kar seva of gilding the dome and “palki” of Dera Baba Nanak, Sachkhand Guru Nanak Asthan (Gurdaspur), as per a resolution passed by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the Canada-based Guru Nanak Shrine Fellowship (GNSF) has offered to construct a corridor across the Indo-Pak border so that pilgrims from India could visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib (Pakistan) without passport.

Gurdwara Dera Baba Nanak (India) and Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib (Pakistan), built in memory of Guru Nanak are a few kilometres away from each other. While the Government of Pakistan and the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC) had offered to construct the corridor, the SGPC had passed a unanimous resolution through which the Government of India was urged to reciprocate the “gesture” of Pakistan. The Akal Purkh ki Fauj and Mr Kuldip Singh Wadala, President of the SAD (Democratic) had organised rallies at Dera Baba Nanak recently with a view to forcing India to take up the matter with Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the GNSF has appointed Dr Ranjit Singh Bajwa, head of the Department of Punjab, Guru Nanak Dev University, director (Honorary). The GNSF has also sent a detailed programme for carrying out kar seva at Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib.

The GNSF has also sent communications to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, and Punjab Government for carrying out the kar seva for constructing the corridor so that devotees could visit the Sikh shrine without any hassle.

The GNSF said compared to the long circuitous route via Wagah, Lahore and Narowal, the corridor passage across India and Pakistan would make it easier for the devotees.

Mr Teja Singh, founding director and president of the GNSF, wrote to Mr Vajpayee and President Musharraf, saying that citizens of both countries were looking forward to the official opening of the corridor.

Kartarpur is an important place where Guru Nanak’s body was claimed by both Hindus and Muslims as they regarded him as their guru and “pir,” respectively. A samadhi and a tomb exist side by side and are an everlasting testimony and tribute to the teachings of Guru Nanak.

Meanwhile, Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha (United Kingdom) in a letter addressed to the Secretary, SGPC, said the kar seva for gold-plating of Gurdwara Dera Baba Nanak was given without its consent. Hence, it expressed its inability to undertake the work as per the resolution passed by the Shiromani committee. Baba Mahinder Singh of the jatha said the kar seva could not be undertaken till the completion of the gilding work of the Golden Temple and Takht Hazoor Sahib (Maharashtra). However, the jatha has prepared a preliminary feasibility study for the gilding of the dome and “palki” of Gurdwara Dera Baba Nanak. The town of Dera Baba Nanak is situated on the left bank of the Ravi, on the Indo-Pak border.