One’s who forget history are destined to relive it!
While the past can’t be changed, but it can serve as a rear view mirror to guide us into the future, to not repeat what could have been avoided.
At Rawalpindi in Pakistan, with a heavy heart, I gazed into a humongous Pipal tree, whose roots have engulfed the walls of an abandoned mansion of a Sikh noble. He had forsaken the expanse of his properties and departed these lands after the pogrom of March 1947, which the history has infamously termed as ‘Rape of Rawalpindi’!
Baba Bullhe Shah writes,
Mughla Jehar Piyaley Peetey, Bhuriya Waaley Raj Keetey
Mughals drank cups of poison, You made men in rough blankets into Kings!
There was a time the Mughal dynasty ruled the Punjab and by the time of Baba Bullhe Shah, he pens that the Sikhs, who then were poor peasants in rough blankets, displaced them to become Kings. Then time wished and overnight the Sikhs became paupers in 1947, and forever departed the lands that they had ruled!
In front of time, man is destined to submit!
When we look into the rear-view mirror, it should make us reflect of our actions today. Do we want our future generations to know of our past with horrific expressions as “Rape of Rawalpindi”?
What can we as members of all communities learn from such observations?
Photographed in Oct 2014, during the research for the book “LOST HERITAGE The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan”