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17 Nov

Reopening Kartarpur Corridor

Reopening Kartarpur Corridor

The government is considering reopening the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara corridor to Pakistan to allow Sikh pilgrims to cross over, more than 20 months after it was shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Government is considering opening the route by 19th November (2021), the birth anniversary of the Sikh founder Guru Nanak, known as Gurpurab or “Prakash Parv”.

Key Points

  • About:
    • The corridor is one of the rare new initiatives between India and Pakistan amidst ties that have been in a downward spiral in 2019 after the Pulwama attack, Balakot strikes and the decision to amend Article 370 on Jammu and Kashmir, which led to the recall of diplomats on both sides and cancellation of all trade relations.
    • The project is also unique as visa-free “Human corridors” of this sort are normally used for emergency situations: refugees fleeing violence or humanitarian disasters, not for pilgrimages.
  • Kartarpur Corridor: 
    • The Kartarpur corridor connects the Darbar Sahib Gurdwara in Narowal district of Pakistan with the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district in India’s Punjab province.
    • The corridor was built to commemorate 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikhism on 12th November 2019.

Guru Nanak

  • Guru Nanak Dev Jayanti is observed on the full-moon day in the month of Katak to celebrate the birth of Guru Nanak Dev (1469-1539).
  • He advocated the ‘Nirguna’ form of bhakti. He rejected sacrifices, ritual baths, image worship, austerities and the scriptures of both Hindus and Muslims.
  • He set up rules for congregational worship (sangat) involving collective recitation.
  • He appointed one of his disciples, Angad, to succeed him as the preceptor (guru), and this practice was followed for nearly 200 years.
  • The fifth preceptor, Guru Arjan, compiled Baba Guru Nanak’s hymns along with those of his four successors and also other religious poets, like Baba Farid, Ravidas (also known as Raidas) and Kabir, in the Adi Granth Sahib.
    • These hymns, called ‘Gurbani’, are composed in many languages.
  • Kartarpur gurudwara is the revered shrine about 4km across the border where Guru Nanak Dev spent the last 18 years of his life.

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