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Why Kartarpur corridor should not be limited only to Sikhs?

Guru Nanak philosophy isn’t based on religion then why should his place be

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh ‘urged’ Islamabad to waive off the requirement of a passport and a 10-day advance registration to visit Gurudwara Darbar Sahib to all citizens of secular India after Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan waived requirements for Sikh pilgrims.

The core values of Guru Nanak and Nanak Naam Lewa Sangat’s philosophy are not based on any religion. We will look at why the Kartarpur corridor matters for all Nanak’s followers.

Who is Nanak Naam Lewa?

Any person who believes in Guru Nanak and follow teachings of him, no matter if he/she belongs to any other religion than Silkh, is Nanak Naam Lewa or Nanakpanti.  It is said that Guru Nanak during his four udaasis (travels), had spread the message of oneness which brought him followers of all faiths. Guru Nanak’s philosophy says that “There is only one giver of life, one God (Sabhna Jiya Ik Daata) and “There is no Hindu and no Muslim” (Na Koi Hindu, na Musalman). Guru Nanak has been called the ‘Jagat Guru’ by Bhai Gurda, the most revered interpreter of Gurbani.

What is Nanakpanthi culture?

There has been bad blood between India and Pakistan for more than 70 years now but Guru Nanak continues to be the binding force between two countries.

Recently Amardeep Singh, writer, filmmaker, Sikh historian spoke to a media house and said that he found strands of “Nanakpanthi” in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said that there are syncretic groups of people in this religion who are followers of Guru Nanak despite them being Hindu or Sikhs.  He added that syncretic group of ‘Nanakpanthi’ communities continue to be regularly practised across the Indus belt, which their forefathers followed before the independence.  There is no defining line for them between cultures and faiths. People might recognize them as Hindu or a Sikh but Guru Nanak is the essential fabric of their existence. Amardeep Singh is travelling to film a documentary named “Allegory – A Tapestry of Nanak’s Travel” to chronicle the travels of Guru Nanak across nine countries – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China (Tibet), Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq.

There are about 10-12 crores of Nanakpanthis all over the world

Although, there is no official data of the Nanak Naam Lewas, but it is believed that they are in crores. A member of Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, Karnail Singh Panjoli said that there are several communities within the ‘Nanakpanthis’. Groups like Vanjaarey, Lubaney, Sikhligarh, Nirmaley, Johri, Udaasiyas, Satnamiye and others call them Nanakpanthis. Apart from following Guru Nanak, they also follow Sri Guru Granth Sahib. As per the data, it is estimated that there are 10-12 crores of Nanakpanthis but there is no record of them alone in India. Within India, they are spread across Bihar, Haryana, Maharashtra, Gujrat, Uttar Pradesh and others.

Even people of other ethnicity have also become Nanakpanthis spread among Kenya, Canada, China, Nepal, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and others.

Why Kartarpur Corridor matters to all of us?

Sikh population in India is close to 2.8 crores and about 20,000-25,000 in Pakistan. Nanak Naam Lewas or Nanakpanthis are in crores across the world. Karnail Singh Panjoli said that it is against the basic teachings of Guru to differentiate his followers on the basis of religion. He added that if Pakistan had to waive off certain conditions, it should be done for all religions, not just the Sikhs. Guru’s Ghar (home) Gurudwara is open for everyone every time. In fact, Guru Nanak did not believe in religion but in humanity.

Read more: Government formation in Maharashtra: Governor invites Shiv Sena to form the government

How Guru Nanak Ji broke religious barriers?

Nanak Ji travelled far and wide during the 15th and 16th century to spread the message of oneness and to break barriers across faiths by engaging in spiritual thoughts. Guru Nanak Ji visited hundreds of interfaith sites of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Jainism from Haridwar to Mecca and from Mt Kailash to Sylhet. His udaasis were later documented as texts, now known as ‘Janamsakhis’.  Bhai Mardana, who was Nanak’s disciple and the closest companion of him during the visits, was a Muslim.

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