City gets its first Shamshaan-ghaat

After Independence in 1947, all Shamshaam-ghaats in Lahore were destroyed in wake of departure of Hindus & Sikhs from Lahore. Shamshaan-ghaat is the place where Hindus & Sikhs perform the last rituals of the dead.

Today, Lahore has a visible Sikh minority living, mostly, in the Old City. Once Capital of the Sikh rule, Lahore did not have a single such place until most recently, on demands of the local Sikh population, Government of Punjab has allocated a land of several kanals near Babu Sabu for the purpose.

A recent report on the same matter was telecasted on a local TV channel in which the locals living nearby gave their views about the new place. One man was quite concerned. His thought was that Muslims are a majority so this place should be re-commisioned as a ‘Muslim’ property. I consider it as too lame an excuse… Another person spoke of lack of a Christian cemetery in that very locality where many Christians also live. So, this Shamshaan-ghaat should be converted to a Christian graveyard.

The point that’s making me feel uncomfortable is that no one talked about appreciating this step as a development in minority rights situation and asking the Government to allocate more such land for a Muslim school or a Christian grave yard; rather, everyone wanted that Shamshaan-ghaat to be converted to a property of their own interest & concern. Is it fair??

6 Comments so far

  1. Saadu (unregistered) on July 4th, 2006 @ 8:45 am

    From KG-2 we have been told the meaning of white color in the flag, sadly many do not remember it anymore. We should be more tolerant of others.

    So if Christians do not have a graveyard in lahore what do they do about their dead? Cremate them?

  2. Virk (unregistered) on July 4th, 2006 @ 11:46 am

    Just wondering if there is no Shamshaam-ghaats in Lahore (or use to) where do Hindu and Skih take their deceased?

  3. Ammar (unregistered) on July 4th, 2006 @ 9:25 pm

    christians have graveyards in lahore. the most prominent one is at the junction of jail road and zafar ali road next to gymkhana club.
    secondly, you cant ask someone for an opinion and expect it to be according to what U want. everybody looks out for their own interest, but the government should look out for everyones interest. dont be too concerned about what two ppl said in a road side interview. ive been in the situation once and u cant even THINK straight when u have a camera pointed at u suddenly…u say the first that comes to ure mind

  4. momekh (unregistered) on July 5th, 2006 @ 1:24 pm

    firstly, i will agree 100 percent with Ammar here. On the same note, a Muslim may not want to get up for Fajr prayer, but he or she knows that he or she HAS to. Same way, regardless of what one would want as the people being interviewed portrayed, the government took a good step here… and there needs a lot more to be done in the private sector in fact…
    and secondly, there should be a visible effort by the government to bring up the minorities and give them full rights in every way possible, because that is how it should be… only recently our army has enrolled minorities, and from what I hear is that its not that our army had a restriction on minority recruits, its just that not many applied and got through; wonder what caused that hesitance!!??

  5. Hasan Mubarak (unregistered) on July 5th, 2006 @ 4:35 pm

    I guess there must be some private place or a Gurdawara which was being used for the purpose.

    And, yes, Christians have some cemetries in the city; didn’t you hear about Gora Qabristan! But according to the locals there’s not one in the proximity of Babu Sabu.

  6. farhan (unregistered) on July 6th, 2006 @ 8:37 pm

    Actually, everyone wants a really quick solution to a problem. Many people don’t realize that to get something you have to sacrifice something, for the time being. In Karachi, for example, every road is torn up and construction is going on. Every taxi driver I had a conversation with kept complaining about the condition of Karachi, and that the authorities don’t give a *beep* about it. It is people like these who don’t see the future, are intolerant, and just don’t understand that whatever is being done is for their own good, so let it continue. Live and let live!

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