Saturday January 20, 2018

Sikhism in Iran – a part of cultural diaspora

Iran was a secure country so, they started to do business in Iran.

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Sikhism, Image source: Wikimedia commons
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Iran is a predominantly a Muslim populated country. The majority of the population that lives here are Muslims. In fact, Islam is the official religion of Islam. But there’s a lot more that Iran has to offer in terms of its cultural diversity.

Watch this video on Sikhism in Iran:

  • Besides Islam, there are several other minority religious groups living in Iran such as Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrians, Hindus etc.
  • Sikhs in Iran are sort of a closed community. The first Sikhs came to Iran from Punjab before 1947 via Zahedan border. Iran and India were neighbours and Pakistan was not yet established. Iran was a secure country so, they started to do business in Iran.
  • Sikhs are monotheists. They worship only one God (almighty). They believe that God brought them to this world to learn and follow his orders and also to build our lives according to his teachings.

Related articleIndia seeks enhanced economic ties with Iran

  • Sikhs men wear Turbans and women wear Indian traditional dresses. Everyone cover their head inside Gurudwaras as a sign of respect. There are even schools attached to the temples which are opened to non-Sikh students. Occasionally Langars (community kitchen) are organised in which pure vegetarian food are served.
  • There have been rumours that Sikhs were inspired by Iranian flags. Some speculate that the new Iran’s flag looks a lot like Sikh symbol.
  • Initially, nearly 5000 Sikhs were settled in Iran but with the Islamic revolution population of Sikhs declined significantly. Presently in Tehran (Iran’s national capital), nearly 60-100 families live.
Sikh community, Wikimedia commons
Sikh community, Wikimedia commons
  • Sikhs have been in Iran for more than 100 years. Apart from some occasional repressions, there hasn’t been any major violence in Iran against Indians (especially Hindus). Iranians love the Sikh community and same goes the other way round. Sikhs living there love Iran. They consider Iran as their homeland. Pleased with the government they feel safe and happy there.

Prepared by Pritam

Pritam is  a 3rd year engineering student in B.P. Poddar institute of management and technology, Kolkata. Twitter @pritam_gogreen

 

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    So good to hear about how pleased the Sikhs are with Iran. Really happy to know that people are understanding the shift caused by industrialization

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    So good to hear about how pleased the Sikhs are with Iran. Really happy to know that people are understanding the shift caused by industrialization

Next Story

All You Need To Know About India’s Strategic Chabahar Port

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border.

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Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma

  • The Chabahar Port is of great strategic importance for India
  • It is in Iran and is being built and operated by India
  • This port will increase India’s trade with Central Asia and Europe

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border. Chabahar is the trans-shipment and logistics hub for the Makran Coast and Baluchistan province of Iran.

Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons

The tension between India and Pakistan is nothing new. There are several instances where both the countries have tried to obstruct each other’s political or economic agendas. This obstruction, along with other strategic reasons, resulted in the India and Iran’s deal on the Chabahar Port, which is crucial because of several reasons.

Here are few things about it you may not have known before :

  • Under the Trilateral Transit and Transport Agreement of 2016, the Chabahar port is the gateway to the Transport Corridor between India, Iran and Afghanistan, which allows multi-modal goods’ and passengers’ transport.

Also Read: India and Iran sign agreement to develop Chabahar Port

  • The agreement also states that India will develop and operate two berths in the first phase of the port. The contract is for 10 years and extendable. This time period excludes the first two years as they will be used for construction.
Chabahar Port will make India's trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port will make India’s trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port’s first phase, which was developed by India, and inaugurated by Iran on 4th December 2017, is of great strategic importance as it makes it easier for India to conduct trade with Central Asia and Europe.
  • Iran’s Chabahar port is also important for India’s trade because of Pakistan’s reluctance in allowing India to send goods to Iran and Afghanistan through its land territory.

Also Read: Gwadar Port: China Turning Pakistan Port Into Regional Giant 

  • The development of Chabahar Port will increase the momentum of the International North-South Transport Corridor whose signatories include India, Afghanistan and Russia. Iran is the key gateway in this project. It will improve India’s trade with Central Asia as well as Europe.
    The Chabahar Port has also reduced Afghanistan’s dependence on the transit road, which went through Karachi. Now, trade can be conducted via Chabahar Port too. Islamabad has accused India of trying to use this development as a means to destabilise Pakistan.

    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port also acts as a counter to the barely 100 km away, Gwadar port in Pakistan, which is developed by China. However, Iran has defended that Chabahar is not a rival to Gwadar and Pakistan is invited to join in its development.
  • In October 2017, India sent its first shipment of wheat to through Chabahar to Afghanistan, in order to test the viability of the route.
  • India will also construct a 900-km Chabahar-Zahedan-hajigak railway line that will connect Port of Chabahar to Hajigak in Afghanistan. It will also connect Mashad in the north, providing access to Turkmenistan as well as northern Afghanistan.This project is worth $1.6 billion.

    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehrain. Wikimedia Commons
    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehran. Wikimedia Commons
  • It is being said that India will supply $400 million of steel rails to Tehran. There are also possibilities of setting up a fertilizer plant through a joint venture with the Iranian government.