Sun, Dec 11, 2016 | updated 01:32 PM IST

The Gurudwara Sahib-a divine home for Afghani Sikhs

Updated: Oct 04, 2016 08:21 IST

By Vinamrata

New Delhi [India], Oct. 4 (ANI): Gurudwara Sahib, located in Delhi's Greater Kailash colony, is the centre of worship for the Afghan Sikh community residing in the area.

Most of the Afghani Sikhs, better known as Afghan Sangat, started coming to this gurudwara because of its historical relevance.

Historic "Manji Sahib", a bunk which is a belonging of Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib, is one of the main reasons behind the Afghan-Sikh refugees settling down in this area.

"After 1989, most of the Afghan-Sikh refugees settled down in India, they started living around in the area of Greater Kailash. Because this gurudwara was in the centre of the colony, therefore, the Afghan Sikhs and other Sikhs around the area started to come frequently to the Gurudwara Sahib and others also started to settle down in the area because of this gurudwara," Tajinder Singh, the secretary of Afghan-Hindu-Sikh Welfare Society, told ANI.

The Gurdwara Sahib has the honour to host the historic revered 400 years old "Manji Sahib". Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib, the seventh Guru of the Sikhs, bestowed this "Manji Sahib" to a great sewak of the Guru - Bhai Gonda ji.

This "Manji Sahib" was respectfully brought to the Gurudwara Sahib by the Afghan Sangat from Kabul in 1993.

"The Sikhs and Hindus of Afghanistan were much attached to this precious belonging of Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib. And in our religion, we respect the belongings of our holy gurus. We think that the Guru Sahib has left behind a gift for us. The Manji was placed in Guru Har Rai Gurudwara in 1992. When the civil war broke in Afghanistan, it was nearly impossible for the Sikhs to live there. This Manji Sahib is very precious for all of us and that is why it was brought from Afghanistan to Delhi in the Gurudwara Sahib," said Khajinder Singh, the president of Afghan-Hindu-Sikh Welfare Society.

Informing about the reason as to why the Afghani Sikhs migrated from Afghanistan to other countries, Tajinder Singh said, "The rights which the Sikh community used to have in Afghanistan started fading out as the political leaders were changed several times. Gradually, the people started moving from Afghanistan. Sikh minority rights were almost diminished in Afghanistan and there was no role of Afghani Sikhs neither in the political affairs nor in the economy. We didn't have good business over there. Even in the government, there was no afghan representative. Eventually, our attachment from the Government of Afghanistan and the people over there faded away."

Majority of Afghan Sikhs live in the area around the Gurudwara Sahib and because of their presence and involvement this place is also referred to as the "Kabuli Gurudwara". (ANI)