Nihangs, Christians do seva at que

Sikhs and Christians have also been looking after a temple and dargah in Kishankot and Masania villages in this border belt. The seva continued even during the peak of terrorism as these religious places are situated in the border district of Gurdaspur.

This presents a unique example of cultural pluralism and communal harmony. The Nihang Singhs of Taruna Dal who have been looking after Guru-ki Masit in this dusty town say that the Masit (que) was constructed by Guru Hargobind for his Muslim subjects.

While leaving the country after the holocaust of Partition, the Muslims had requested their Christian brothers to look after the majestic dargah of Baba Shah Badr Dewan in Masania. The family of Yunas Masih has been fulfilling the promise given to Muslims about 54 years ago. Masania village was dominated by Muslims before Partition but the entire population had to leave for the newly created Pakistan. The Sarpanch of Masania, Mr Amrik Singh, says that a jatha of Muslims from Pakistan would throng this que till 1970. They stopped visiting the village after the Indo-Pak war of 1971 due to visa restrictions imposed by both the countries. However, the villagers, including Hindus, Sikhs and Christians perform seva at the dargah with devotion.

Giving the historical background of Guru ki Masit at Sri Hargobindpur, Baba Kirtan Singh said it was mentioned in the religious books that the que was constructed by Guru Hargobind for his Muslim subjects in the 17th century after a fierce battle with the Mughals.

The Taruna Dal, a Nihang sect has also installed Nishan Sahib adjoining the masit, presenting a scene of communal harmony. Baba Kirtan Singh said it was Baba Bishan Singh, Taruna Dal chief, who took the initiative to conserve Guru ki Masit. He said he too had been performing seva at masit for the past two decades.

The three religious places – Guru ki Masit, Krishan temple at Kishankot and the dargah at Masania have been chosen by the Cultural Resource Conservation Initiative (CRCI) for its conservation-cum-unity development project under Unesco’s Culture of Peace Programme-2000.

Ms Gurmeet Rai, chief of CRCI, says that the site would attract devotees and tourists after it is developed.

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