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Yearning for Togetherness

- Ramanjit Singh

When I first started researching about the subject of Partition, I realized that the bond between Sikhs and Muslims is more intertwined than what I had understood earlier.

The identity of Sikhs is incomplete without the other. From common Jatt castes where "Chachas and Tayas" from the same family converted to Islam or Sikhism, to Kahlon, Bajwa, Randhawa, Waraich, Virk, Sra, Sandhu, Sidhu, Ghumman, Gill, Dhillon, Cheema, Brar and other Jatt castes having common family lineage with those of the Muslims, to Baba Farid's compositions in Guru Granth Sahib, to the hundreds of years of cultural heritage in the form of family and social relationships, the loss that the Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims had to endure as part of this division is immeasurable. And sometimes I think this loss is unbearable.

It is no wonder when Sikhs or Hindus visit their ancestral villages in Pakistan, people there often say "ae saddey ney... sadda khoon ekoi eh ... ae na da pichokad ekoi eh"... they are from us... we have same blood... their background is same as ours. Most often someone would say "ae vi Jatt biradri dey ney, saddey chachey tayyan to ney". That they belong to our Jatt family and their family lineage is from our father's siblings side.

One such example of the Sikh and Muslim cultural heritage is of Rai Bhular Bhatti, a contemporary of Guru Nanak Dev and a devout Muslim, who became Guru Nanak's second disciple. After Bibi Nanki, Guru Nanak's sister, he was the second person to recognise that Guru Nanak was a divine soul.

According to the ancient revenue records in possession of the family, Rai Bhular gave 247 murabas of land to Gurdwara Janam Asthan. Rai Bhular chose to give his most fertile agricultural lands to Guru Nanak after he discovered Guruji's divine powers. It is on this land, and on the exact spot where Guru Nanak was born, that Gurdwara Janam Asthan was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. (Reference: Tribune India)

Although we have been living separately in the two Punjabs, our affection towards each other is profound. Our common history, language, food and culture brings us closer together. It yearns for togetherness.

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