WE LOST OUR HERITAGE IN THE CREATION OF PAKISTAN. WE THEN MANIACALLY DESTROYED IT IN INDIA. NOW UNDER THE NAME OF RENOVATION WE ARE DESTROYING WHATEVER LITTLE IS LEFT ACROSS PAKISTAN.

 

My community needs to wake-up. Heritage is valuable source of motivation for future generations. No one has the right to destroy under the name of modernization. The Sikhs first systematically erased their valuable heritage across India under the name of modernization and now have started destroying the few remaining heritage footprints left across Pakistan.

 

Here is a classic example of destruction underway by the Sikhs from India, who under Baba Harbans Singh’s Kar Sewa Jatha have dug the entire periphery around the sanctum sanctorum of Dera Sahib Gurdwara in Lahore. A few Nanakshahi (19th century) bricks were still visible inside the parts of the new concrete foundation that has been dug deep. These structures made with old bricks had survived well for over 200 years and I can guarantee that the new concrete will barely last 100 years, with water seepage and cracks developing soon. If you were so passionate about community service, then the focus should have been on restoration of the beautiful wall frescos that once adorned the building. You have ignored this aspect of restoration and leaped steps beyond to totally destroy and reconstruct, to replace with a soon to be constructed, a more blaring marble and gold structure.

 

Who gives you the mandate?

 

I request the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) of Pakistan to create strict operating guidelines which limited flexibility to these self-professed destroyers of heritage who are now totally focussed on erasing the last footprints of Sikh heritage left across Pakistan. It is Pakistan’s responsibility to protect the heritage in its own pristine form. Restore and not destroy is the mindset we need.

 

Photographed in Jan 2017, during the research for the book “THE QUEST CONTINUES: LOST HERITAGE The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan”