Nankana Sahib is Beckoning Sikhs
Only Panjab born can feel pain of Panjab: Sheikh Azhar Ehsan
The Struggle For one panjab and One Panjabi's : Swaranjeet Singh
Institute for Conflict and Peace Studies (IFCAPS) in collaboration with Asian American Seniors Association (AASA) and Akal Foundation (Chicago) organized a special function in honor of Sheikh Ajhar Ehsan, a most revered person among Pakistani Sikhs. The debate focused on “Mutual Respect of Sikhs and Muslims in Pakistan”.
Executive Director of IFCAPS Dr. Swaranjeet Singh said that this gathering was aimed at increasing mutual cooperation and strengthening love on both sides of the border without any regard to political biases and complaints.
Sheikh said in a very affectionate tone, “You may come to your religious places quite often. We have kept our doors open for you for ever. To pay pilgrimage to your religious places is your right. No one can snatch these rights from you, no matter who rules in Pakistan. We will not let borders come in the way of our relations of love and understanding.” This brief dialog had a long range of uniting hearts and clearing misunderstandings.
Sadhu Singh Rikhiraj, the president of IFCAPS while welcoming the guests said that member of different communities and the presence of the chief guest paints a picture of the complete Punjab. Professor Joginder Singh Ramdev also urged that they would have to keep alive respect for each other. Thakur Singh Basati and Dr. Javed Bhatti said that they should take pride in their mother tongue. It is born for nurturing love and fellow feeling. They said that until Punjabis sing together love and peace, the high walls of misunderstanding wouldn’t come down to make a way for building bridges and end the reign of hatred.
The Executive Secretary Prof. Kulwant Singh said that the foundation of IFCAPS was laid with a view to promote love and understanding with the hope that solutions emerge spontaneously from such an atmosphere. The pen used in this direction will sure bring peace in South Asia. S. Sadhu Singh Rikhiraj and Prof. Jagindar Singh Ramdev honored Sheikh Sahib with a plaque of honor. The executive Director Dr. Swaranjeet Singh presented few publication of IFCAPS “ Roshan Zameer, Sach ki Bani: Universal for Peace” to the Chief Guest.
Sheikh is a member of Wakaf Board of Pakistan. He is also a member of the global governing council. The same governing council has given permission to build Baba Guru Nanak International University on 2500 acres prime land. He said it in a clear language that the proposed university is a first step to increase love and cooperation. The foundation of that love was laid by Sain Mian Mir on the request of Guru Arjan Dev ji. He said, “We alone can’t complete this project, you will have to come forward and support it.”
The standard of this university will match International standards. 75% of total students will enroll from other countries; Pakistan will keep only 25% share in the enrollment.
He stressed,“ oday Nanakana Sahib is beckoning Sikhs. Come to see your Guru’s places. There is no ban on Sikhs for visiting their religious places. We always keep waiting for you. You can comet on four most important occasions: Vaisakhi, Guru Arjan Sahib’s martyrdom, Guru Nanak’s Birthday, and Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s death Anniversary. You may come on other occasions as well, we shall put your request before the government".
He further said, "I have seen Sikh children becoming emotional and shedding tears while saying goodbye to their religious places. It is easy to know such reactions, but one can imagine how it affects them profoundly who feel bonded to their places. Punjab’s pain can be felt only by those who are born in Punjab. Governments don’t do anything. Only people can become one-voiced. I am your voice. Whatever you propose I shall try my best to fulfill that. Let your voice mingle with mine to create unique melody. Punjab understands that melody. I am sure you will do your best to strengthen this love. We haven’t raised border walls. Sheikh Sahib evoked such painful memories, that everyone felt connection to the old glory of Punjab".
Dr. Swaranjeet Singh observed that Sheikh's love for Punjab reduced feelings of separation to some extent, however, the battle for saving Punjabi and the Punjab’s soil, a long distance has to be journeyed. Punjabi language is our mother; therefore, it is necessary to become one purposed. This voice is free from the differences of religion, politics and race. In the end, Sajid Chaudhary recited poems. The atmosphere became very colorful.
The people who took part in discussion were Dr. Javed Bhatti, Sajid Chaudhary, Jodh R, Rawat, Dr. Pradeep Singh Gill, Inderjit Singh Mukker, Dr. Baldev Singh, Ginny, Baljot Kaur, Dr. Swaranjeet Singh, Prof. Kulwant Singh Hundal, Prof. Jagindar Singh Ramdev, Kanwar Singh, Gaurav Singh, Sewa Singh Virdi, Amolak Singh Giddha, Surinder Singh Grewal, Ravneet Singh Grewal, Hardeep Singh Komal, Harmeet Singh and Thakur Singh Basati.