In Pakistan village with no Sikhs, Hindus renovate and reopen gurdwara, Muslims prepare langar

Divya Goyal
At Gurdwara Baba Nanak.

The followers of Guru Nanak (Nanak Naam Lewa) have renovated and reopened a gurdwara at a village in Pakistan’s Sindh that had been lying closed since the Partition. Apart from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, a Bhagwad Gita has also been installed at Gurdwara Baba Nanak.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Dewa Sikandar, member, Pakistan Hindu Council, said the gurdwara, lying abandoned at the village Janoji in Salehpat of Sindh province’s Sukkur district, was reopened Friday as part of celebrations marking the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

“Gurdwara Baba Nanak has been reopened after a year of renovation work, which was carried out with the help of donations from Nanak Naam Lewa Sangat. The Hindu community living in Sukkur and Khairpur districts contributed and nearly Rs 6 lakh was spent to renovate the two-room gurdwara,” said Sikandar.

In Pakistan's Sindh province, which has the highest Hindu population, people continue to follow Nanakpanthi culture and are followers of Nanak despite being Hindus. (Express photo)

Interestingly, there is no Sikh population in Janoji and entire arrangements were made by members of the Hindu and Muslim communities. “The local Muslim villagers arranged langar for the devotees. They prepared lunch and karha prasad and also decorated the gurdwara for opening day. Nanak Naam Lewa Sangat chanted Waheguru prayers as well as aarti,” Sikandar said, adding that Hindus in Sindh are ardent followers of Nanak and call themselves “Nanakpanthis”.

“A caretaker will now live at the gurdwara and the Bhagwad Gita will continue to remain installed here. However, since there is a proper maryada to be followed for sewa of Guru Granth Sahib, the Holy book will be taken back to Salehpat main gurdwara and will be brought here once a year till we do not get a permanent granthi,” he added.

Sikandar said that senior PPP leader Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, who hails from Sukkur and was elected both to provincial and national assembly from here, also gave a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the gurdwara’s renovation. Shah was recently arrested in a corruption case by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of Pakistan.

In Sindh province of Pakistan which has the highest Hindu population, people continue to follow Nanakpanthi culture and are followers of Nanak despite being Hindus.