Desert Rose in Kartarpur

Being termed as a Corridor of Peace, the Kartarpur Corridor has a strong Rajasthan connect as many workers from desert state are working non-stop to spread the Green Revolution!

Artists and landscapers from the Pink City, stationed at almost 600 kilometers from Jaipur at Dera Nanak Sahab, are busy ensuring that the dream project of Kartarpur Corridor, which will be dedicated to the devotees today, i.e. November 9, showcases the best of everything. As we celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, the saint who sang hymns in the name of humanity, thousands of workers are busy giving final touches to project, which is also being termed as a Corridor of Peace.

Corridor’s Strong Jaipur Connect

Who else, but the people from the water scarce desert state of Rajasthan know better about the importance of water! And so, they have been given the task of maintaining greenery and ensuring that the plants surrounding the Kartarpur Corridor from the Indian side are well watered. Vijay and Ramraj are the two men who have been working relentlessly since months installing drip irrigation system, sprinklers and pop ups on the breathtakingly beautiful landscape that will greet the devotees visiting the corridor before they cross over to Pakistan. Flowering plants and trees that will ensure shade to the pilgrims are being planted at the vast landscape. Says MS Rathore from Jaipur, whose firm, Sun Irrigation is engaged in irrigation works at the Corridor, “The plants have been procured from Gujrala town and we are ensuring that they are kept well watered. My men are working day and night to give a green look to the area by planting saplings and trees in lawns and landscape.”

“My workers are staying in the Dera Nanak Sahab Village near the Pakistan border since weeks and we hope the work will get completed soon. The VIP movement in the area, though, is delaying the completion of our work,” says Rathore. But he is not complaining as this project means a lot. He hopes the Corridor will act as a friendly link between two neighbours, who have not been in the best of terms lately. Rathore feels blessed to have seen the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur village, through a telescope installed at Zero Line at the Indian side and now with the opening of the corridor he hopes to visit the Gurudwara in person to have a darshan.

For Vijay, who is also from Jaipur and is installing the drip irrigation line at the corridor, the experience is overwhelming. “I have never seen a place like this. Initially, I was intrigued by the presence of so many BSF men nearby, but now, I feel as if I am working in Rajasthan itself. At the Zero Line, our mobiles are taken away by the BSF men guarding the area and as soon as we enter the area, our mobiles too go out of network coverage. We collect them later from BSF men, but no one among seems to mind this as our immediate concern is to get the work done on time, he adds. “Pakistani Rangers, however, look intimidating to me, but I dare not venture that side,” he says with a sheepish grin. Stationed at the Corridor since weeks, Vijay had come to his home in Jaipur for Diwali and is now back to work. His deft hands are working non-stop to lay pipeline near plants so that they are kept well watered!

Sikh-Rajput relations date back to over 150 years

The Sikhs and Rajput state of Jaipur has had a close and mostly cordial relation for about 150 years. The first contact between the Sikhs and Royals of Jaipur was when Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb summoned the eighth Sikh Guru, Harkrishan, to Delhi. He was escorted from Kartarpur to the capital Delhi by men sent by Raja Mirza Jai Singh of Jaipur. The rule of Jaipur gave his personal assurance for Guru’s security, says Dr Hari Ram Gupta in his History of the Sikhs Vol1. On arrival at Delhi in January 1664, the Guru and his party were lodged in one of the Raja’s palaces in Raisina, then a suburb of Delhi. This palace was later converted into a Gurdwara in 1783 and now known as ‘Gurdwara Bangla Sahib.’