Revival of the lost heritage:Baba Biba Singh Gurudwara in Paksistan


By Pragya

The partition of India was a tragic event which resulted in the loss of lives. But it was not only the lives that suffered the heritage too were overlooked and abandoned on both sides. Members of minority Sikh community gathered to reopen Baba Biba Singh Gurudwara situated in Jogiwara locality of Peshawar, Pakistan which was closed for almost 7 decades. It has been believed that the Gurudwara was built during the regime of Maharaj Ranjit Singh and was closed in the year 1942 due to some religious issues between the Muslims and Sikhs.

The Gurudwara architecture was considered as the masterpiece. According to some estimates the gurudwara has been built at the time of 10th Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Since the gurudwara has been uninhabited for over 60 years the walls and inner dome were damaged. It is 300 years old and has been renovated with the help of Pakistan government who financed 55 lakh for restoration work and the local Sikhs contributed Rs.15 lakh. An ardas (prayers) will be held every day followed by a langar.

The struggle of reopening the Gurudwara had not been easy, the Sikhs had been fighting for it since 7 years. According to a newspaper report the Peshawari Singh Sewa Society started their talks with Pakistan government in 2007 and moved a request seeking ownership of the Gurudwara but a lot of things happened during this time like Benazir Bhutto murder which slowed down the process. Moreover, the Muslim community was doubtful about the opening of Gurudwara but the community convinced them.

Guru Granth Sahib was installed and the inauguration ceremony was attended by Siddiq-Ul-Farooq, chairman, Evacuee Trust Property Board, Pakistan, its secretary Mohammad Khalid and Sardar Soran Singh from the Pakistan Sikh Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee.

Devotees from India have also sent their requests to Gurudwara management in Pakistan to get it opened for them too.

Pragya Jha is a student of Journalism and mass communication , New Delhi. Twitter:pragya1527