Kartarpur corridor

A historic moment coinciding with the 550th Prakash Utsav of Guru Nanak Dev Ji falling on November 12 was witnessed by the entire country and Indian devotees throughout the world when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Kartarpur corridor at Dera Baba Nanak in Gurudaspur Punjab. With this, decks were cleared to have the devotees access to paying obeisance at historic GurudwaraDarbar Sahib through the corridor without any hindrance. The first batch of 500 pilgrims crossed the corridor at the time of the inauguration, the shrine being just five kilometres from the India-Pakistan border. Among the first batch of pilgrims were former Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh, Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Singh Badal and Navjot Singh.
One of the bitterest fallouts of the partition of the country , on communal basis has been denial of access to people to historical places of religious and cultural importance on both the sides. While India has been quite liberal in this aspect , Pakistan all these decades has shown no inclination to be flexible and allow devotees especially from the Sikh community to visit and pay obeisance at the place where founder of the Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev, after his missionary travels,spent 18 concluding years of his life.
It may be recalled that Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib which assumes great importance is located in Shakargarh, Narowal district in the Punjab province of Pakistan.This Gurdwara is slated to become the world’s largest Gurdwara after the completion of the works currently going on in respect of this shrine. Before building and now formally opening of the corridor, this historic Gurdwara which otherwise is quite visible from the Indian border shall have devotees from India on visa-free basis. It is worth noting that Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Prime Minister of India had in the year 1999 itself during his bus ride to Lahore of offering friendship to Pakistan mooted the proposal of visa free Kartarpur Sahib corridor and the then Pakistani President Parvez Musharraf had agreed to the proposal in 2000 but it remained in dormancy for two decades in Pakistan .
Prime Minister Narendra Modi,while inaugurating the corridor said he felt blessed to be on the holy land. During his address while highlighting the teachings of the Guru Ji and the need to follow them to lead a purposeful life of bliss never showed any frugality of any sort in not only thanking his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan for respecting the sentiments of India but the Pakistani workers too who on the other side of the corridor ensured that the corridor was all ready for the pilgrims ahead of November 12. Modi described Guru Ji as “a thought and the basis of life”. What, if this occasion could bring about the change in the mindset and the state policy of Pakistan to abhor and stop all aggressive and hostile activities against India and start a new chapter of friendship and amity, cooperation and mutual understanding, so that historicity of this day could become more importantly memorable than the event of demolition of the Berlin wall of divide .
November 9, however, shall be remembered as a great day as the historic holy Sikh shrine of Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, second only in historic importance to the Gurudwara Janam Asthan Sahib again in Pakistan became accessible through the newly built corridor. The Prime Minister while addressing the gathering at the inauguration site highlighted the importance and more relevance even now of the message of peace and universal brotherhood given by Guru Nanak DevJi and said that he was not only the legacy of the Sikhs alone but an inspiration for the entire humanity. Let us expect that the pilgrimage to the shrine shall remain hassles free throughout the year and there would be nothing of the sort from Pakistan to create any sort of fuss or unwarranted problems.