Stories about sikh

The day the Great Army split: When Hindus and Muslims were one

It’s hard to imagine that the brave soldiers of the India and Pakistan army who have been baying for each other’s blood since 1947 had earlier been comrades; that they are the same young men who once spilled their blood together in many a battle they fought flanked by their brothers and in the course of World War II in Italy, the Western Desert and Burma. These are the same brave-hearts who fought together almost incessantly along the passes and peaks of the Frontier, at Landi Kotal, and up and down the Khyber while their British colleagues paraded and drilled. The Pathans ...

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Can a non-Muslim hero be honoured in Pakistan?

That Pakistan is afflicted with the evils of bigotry and prejudice is no secret. But however much one gets accustomed — sadly, even immune — to this state of affairs, one is still left aghast at the extremely narrow worldview held by certain quarters. The recent backlash that was witnessed against the Dilkash Lahore Committee’s proposal — later thankfully approved by the city’s district coordination officer — to rename Fawara Chowk in Shadman after Bhagat Singh, the pre-Independence Indian freedom fighter, is a case in point. Now, one could have disagreed with this proposal on various grounds. One may argue that however ...

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Diwali: It’s time to celebrate!

It was a dark, moonless night when Lord Ram, the banished king of Ayodhya returned home along with his wife, Sita after having vanquished the demon, Ravan (King of Lanka who had abducted Sita) and having completed 14 years in exile. To honour and rejoice the homecoming of their king, the people of his kingdom lit his path with oil lamps to guide him on his way. Thus began the tradition of decorating homes and public spaces with earthenware oil lamps (diyas) to mark the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and the five day celebration came to ...

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I was there to witness the miracle of August 14, 1947

It is August 14 – a day that revives the memory of an extraordinary experience of a young girl, Zee Niazi, on the day of the inception of this beautiful country. The way that events moved at that time instills the belief that miracles do, in fact, happen. Zee got married to an officer in the then British Army, just before partition took place. Not being acquainted with an army lifestyle, her husband’s first posting came to her as a surprise. They went to Harbanspura by train. The future had already begun to look bleak for the newly married couple. They was no accomodation ...

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Why I love Bilqees Kaur

The excitement and hype created by “Humsafar” still hasn’t ebbed despite the fact that the last episode aired a couple of months ago. What got us all Humsafar-ing was the beauty of the script, the flawless performances, the impeccable storyline and the mesmerising star power. Can any other Pakistani drama compete with the hype that “Humsafar” created? I think “Bilqees Kaur” is a drama serial that has the ability to match the bar set by “Humsafar”. Let’s analyse! Bilqees Kaur is actually the name of the woman played by Bushra Ansari. This drama also stars Syra Yousuf, Ahsan Khan, Sadia Imam, Saleem Sheikh ...

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Religion, reality and red wine

First three Hindu men are murdered in cold blood and then, a week later, a Sikh woman is raped in Sikhism’s holy city. In both cases, the government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan remained faithful to its contemptible conduct. It yawned while condemning the incidents, rubbed its eyes as it promised speedy justice and then promptly went to back to bed. As for the killing and rape, these are not just two isolated incidents. They are evidence of our subconscious hatred for anything dissimilar: one small controversy and it comes of age; sometimes leaving us with debris of fallen temples, ...

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Let’s promote ‘religious tourism’

Over 8,000 Sikh pilgrims from various countries visited Pakistan recently to celebrate the 543rd birthday of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev. This is not the only occasion in the calendar year when Sikh pilgrims come to Pakistan to visit their religious sites. The federal government has always been sensitive to the needs of Sikh pilgrims, but few in government may have thought that this traditional hospitality can also be converted into a source of earning. Since so many Sikhs visit the country throughout the year, it can use their arrival ...

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Baisakhi fair: Thanking one God for His bounty

As a child, I attended the Baisakhi fair many times. The sound of the beat of the  huge dhol echo in my memory. I can picture the ancient ‘well of death’. Visions of  the bright circus and toy shops come flooding back to me. I can almost taste the unique sweetness of the jalaibis, and the spicy taste of pakoras. Last year I visited the fair after all these years and relived childhood memories. Looking back,  I am amazed at the scale of the three-day festival marking the harvest time of the rabi (winter) crops. It is celebrated as a harvest festival by the large farming community in ...

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Need a history lesson, Babar Awan?

I am at a loss to understand law minister Babar Awan’s fixation on “takhte Lahore”, a reference to Emperor Ranjit Singh’s reign. Others have also hijacked this phrase and have started to use it indiscriminately while referring to the present Punjab government headed by Shahbaz Sharif. While others could have been excused for their obvious ignorance of Punjab’s history, the words are surprising coming from a supposedly well-read person. After all, the minister is a son of the soil, to use a cliche. An empire as a gimmick To ridicule the golden period of Punjabi history for petty score settling ...

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