Amritsar: The Sikhs in India and across the border will celebrate birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev but they have failed to give proper recognition to, by building a monument, Bhai Mardana, the disciple and rababi of the first Guru.
Ghulam Mohammad Chand ,a descendant of Bhai Mardana told yesterday even in Pakistan he and other descendents of Bhai Mardana were not allowed to offer prayers at Nanakana Sahib except once a couple of years ago. He said whenever they approached the Sikh jatha visiting Pakistan for reciting Gurbani they simply refused to accept their request saying they had brought their ragis for this purpose.
He said whenever they visited religious places in India and Pakistan the powers that be assured them to invite to the place but were soon forgotten. He rued it was only now the rababis had to seek permission before offering prayers at gurdwaras
Bhai Chand, accompanied by nephews Mohammed Afzal and Amjad Hussain is part of the nine-member delegation from Pakistan which would be participating in a function in New Delhi organised by the Saanje Rang Punjab de which would be showcasing similarities between cultures of two Punjabs. The group will also visit Chandigarh, Jaipur and Agra.
The other members of the delegation are programme manager FM 103 Lahore Afzal Saahir, noted poet and composer Yasub Tahir, Augustin and Rabaika, art and craft teachers of Lahore college for women university and Kannaird college for women Lahore, respectively, classical singer and teacher Sameena Hassan Sayyad and young film maker Danial Rashid.
The noted rababi said the office-bearers of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) should initiate steps to establish a memorial or institution in the memory of Bhai Mardana where traditional and classical singing of Gurbani could be taught to the youth of the community.
Bhai Chand had was made to swallow a bitter pill as he was not allowed to recite Gurbani at sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple three years ago. But he vowed to keep on returning to Amritsar so long as his wish remained unfulfilled no matter how hard the obligations of Sikh Maryada pushed him.
He said they had to face visa problems as they were not able to get visas to visit Amritsar and other places in India annually. He said his another dream would be fulfilled if he was allowed to visit Rajasansi, the place of his birth where he used to watch his uncle Bhai Gyan Chand perform at a gurdwara there besides getting lessons from him in reciting Gurbani.