Establish Kartarpur as an Ecological Village of Baba Nanak - Preserve His 100-acres Fields

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A Petition from Sikh Sangat from all over the World to the
Prime Minister of Pakistan for Preserving Baba Nanak's Fields at Kartarpur

Mr. Imran Khan
Prime Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Islamabad, P A K I S T A N

Dear Sir,

We are writing to convey that Baba Nanak's lovers from world over fear an irreparable loss of heritage during ongoing construction work at Kartarpur Sahib, and to convey their earnest wish for dedicating Kartarpur Sahib as a heritage village, preserving it for the sake of our future generations.

Our children would want to connect to Baba Nanak’s Kartarpur - in the way he lived, farmed and taught. They would never want to see it crowded by modern, unsightly commercial buildings that deprive the land of its true spirit, history, rich cultural, and religious heritage. They would not be interested in visiting another concrete jungle or huge marbleized structures.

The land that Baba Nanak tilled with his own hands for eighteen long years, the forests surrounding it and the look and feel of ancient Kartarpur will be far more appealing and sacred to them. This is the heritage we are asking to preserve for our future generations. It will also safeguard chances of archeologically reviving Baba Nanak’s home and other artifacts associated with him that were lost in the history.

Our children would be inspired to visit year after year – a green village, set-up as a zero-waste space with best archeologists, conservationists, botanists, and landscape experts planning it while reviving the lost heritage associated with Baba Nanak.

Sir, our young generations would love to visit this sacred land to learn from the locals, taking the knowledge back to the whole world forming a bond of love and friendship. There would be a better and more sustainable commerce around a model that truly invests in livelihoods of the locals while respecting their culture, sensitivities and connecting the global populace with it.

We also wish to respectfully convey a growing feeling amongst Sikh lovers of Pakistan world-over, that despite being the key stakeholders in the preservation and upkeep of Sikh holy sites in Pakistan, they have virtually no say, no voice, no representation in various bodies, committees entrusted with taking far-reaching decisions. It is sad, especially because we, the Sikhs and the Sikh Diaspora are sincere well wishers of the country and the people of Pakistan.

The Sikhs request that:

1. any new construction be planned at least a kilometer away from the current Gurdwara building i.e. outside the 100 acres of preserved fields surrounding the Gurdwara.

2. the Kartarpur corridor and Kartarpur village be made an ecological haven, a lush preserve, home to flora and fauna that Baba Ji experienced and spoke about in Gurbani extensively. Environment protection of Kartarpur village should be ensured with comprehensive regulation and its strict enforcement. It will set a model for the Clean and Green Pakistan.

3. the corridor roads stop at the outskirts of the preserved fields and only foot-trails connect the parking terminals with the main complex. There should be foot-trails throughout the corridor which should itself be with zero-emission transport mechanism for the disabled and the elderly — so the journey to Kartarpur is as sacred to the devotees as the destination itself.

4. new facilities be designed in coherence with the Guru period architecture

5. a commercial center be established that encourages local produce, art, music, literature, and learning as existed in Guru period.

6. government involve heritage and archeological departments in planning, coordination and oversight of work and projects related to preservation and upkeep of Sikh holy sites and all pre-partition Sikh heritage thus protecting it from destruction.

Thank You!

Sikh Sangat and Friends from around the world.

https://www.facebook.com/KartarpurOfGuruNanak/

 

------   Original Contents of the Petition January 2019  ------

Mr. Imran Khan
Prime Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Islamabad, P A K I S T A N


We, the humble lovers and followers of Baba Nanak want to thank Government of Pakistan  for moving towards opening up of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor. With the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor opening, comes a huge opportunity and responsibility for Pakistan to set a shining example for the entire world by recreating Kartarpur Sahib, the way Baba Nanak established and envisioned it for humanity.

 
Kartarpur Sahib - the last abode of Baba Nanak can be a place of inspiration so that the present and future generations of entire human race can make a pilgrimage to this sacred space, paying tribute to the messenger of oneness of humanity — whose message is so needed in this war-torn world — and once there, be able to transport themselves back into history, feel the sanctity of the space there and go back inspired to make this world a better place.


We, the of lovers and followers of Baba Nanak earnestly appeal to the Government of Pakistan that while taking forward this noble cause, the following may kindly be kept in view, and adhered to:


1. Heritage Village

  • Baba Nanak spent over 18 years at Kartarpur Sahib – the longest ever, at any one place. The heritage of Kartarpur Sahib are the 104 acres fields that our wondrous ‘Guru’ tilled with his own hands, the place where he lived, the trees he sat under, the place where he passed his legacy to Guru Angad and everything that he used and  touched. The Sangat world-over longs to feel and touch their forehead on the same dusty soil that our ‘Guru’ walked on. Every effort should be made to set up the last abode of Guru Nanak as it would have been in his time. So, Kartarpur Sahib should be planned as a  ‘village’ of Guru Nanak as envisioned and established by him and not as a city with modern aesthetics incongruent with the spirit of the holy place. 
  • Exploration work should be done to rebuild more heritage sites associated with Baba Nanak in Kartarpur (such as his ex-home), as would have existed in his period and connect them via a walking trail surrounded by nature.
  • Maximum use of existing physical features such as trees, vegetation, dirt roads, water bodies, slopes etc. should be incorporated in the plans.
  • At Kartarpur Sahib, Baba Nanak adopted agriculture as his profession and set up a thriving community as a living example of the three core principles of Sikhi - concept of Kirat Karna (Honest labor), Nam Japna (Being immersed in the love of Divine) and Vand Shakna (Sharing the fruit of labor). And, an effort should be made to create a model community that reflects the spirit and execution of these principles.


2. Village Planning & Architecture

  • The existing complex to be the focal point of the heritage village, while ensuring that the architecture of the current building and premises (including the well) remains untouched.
  • Any new construction should be outside of the current complex and at least a kilometer away from the current complex. 
  • Architecture of all new buildings should reflect the Guru period architecture of the Punjab, and it should be uniform throughout Kartarpur Sahib. It can be ensured through a comprehensive, well thought-out prior-approved Master Plan.
  • Institutions that specialize in Guru period architecture should participate in the preparation of the Master Plan. Master Plan should also include work on Dera Baba Nanak on the Indian side, as they will work in conjunction with each other, receiving the visitors from India and regulating their flow to Kartarpur Sahib.
  • It is imperative that Kar-Seva groups if allowed to work on Kartapur Sahib be made to comply with the architecture and heritage planning approved by the Preservation Bodies / approved in the Master Plan.

3. The Farms and the Forests

  • Hundred and four acres of land surrounding the Gurdwara should be dedicated to farming and orchards utilizing Desi Kheti (Organic Farming). The farmland should be cultivated traditionally by growing crops and fruit trees that were grown during Guru Period. The farms can be set up as models and teaching centers for revival of traditional agricultural practices and food processing. No construction what so ever except the foot trails should be allowed on Baba Ji's farms.
  • Forests around Kartarpur Sahib should be protected to keep the air clean and encourage the native flora and fauna, as it existed in Baba Nanak’s time.


4. Environment, Access & Facilities

  • Number of visitors per day should be regulated.
  • To prevent Kartarpur Sahib from being overloaded with trash from the visitors, use of single-use plastic bags, bottles, Styrofoam, and packaged foods should be prohibited in the area.
  • No personal transport should be allowed in the Kartarpur village from either side. Foot traffic should be encouraged, and pedestrians from the border be provided a safe walking trail surrounded by lush vegetation to make the journey spiritual in nature. Electric trams should transport only the disabled and elderly visitors.
  • Parking should be set up at a distance from the Village, beyond which no outside vehicle should be allowed.

5. Cultural and Commercial Activity

  • Village shops or bazaar should be set up in the new complex to encourage commerce as would have existed in the Guru period. Only traditional artifacts, handlooms, and foods prepared by local artisans and vendors should be allowed in the bazaar. Modern day commercial souvenirs should not be allowed.
  • Art of traditional musicians, rababis, and folklorists paying tribute to Baba Nanak and his boli should be encouraged.
  • Schools teaching sustainable agricultural practices in the memory of Baba Nanak, music in the memory of Bhai Mardana, traditional arts in the name of Bebe Nanaki should be established around the village to create an engaging economy for the locals and sustainable tourism for new generation of Baba Nanak lovers from around the world.

We, the Sikh Sangat from all over the world assure the Government of Pakistan of their utmost support and cooperation, in taking forward this noble cause along the lines delineated above.

Thank You!

Gurmeet Kaur & Sangat at

#KartarpurSahibCorridor
Attachments: https://www.dawn.com/news/print/1451745



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