Tribune News Service
Amritsar, September 21
Sikh institutions, businessmen, and government organisations should join hands together to create a Sikh heritage fund on the pattern of World Heritage Fund to undertake research, publication, documentation and conservation of Sikh architecture and heritage. These were the observations of experts at the three-part virtual international symposium on Sikh architecture, which concluded today.
The theme of the symposium was contemporary architecture and was organised by Saakaar Foundation. Architect Ramneek Gharial gave the opening remarks. Internationally-renowned Israeli architect Moshe Safdie’s presentation on his project Khalsa Heritage Complex, Anandpur Sahib, was enlightening.
Dr Jyoti Pandey Sharma, professor, School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Delhi, spoke on “Modernising Colonial Punjab”. She said: “Set against the backdrop of a rapidly modernising colonial Punjab, this talk examines the architectural exploits of the ruler of Kapurthala state, Maharaja Jagatjit Singh. It focuses on a mosque built by the Sikh patron for his Muslim subjects demonstrating a feisty spirit of humanism. Kapurthala’s Jama Masjid bears testimony to its patron’s egalitarianism that was truly exceptional for its time”.
Prof Charanjit Singh Shah from New Delhi, who designed Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, talked about the significance of the architecture at the corridor, said: “Dera Baba Nanak Kartarpur Complex is dedicated to Guru Nanak’s mission based on ‘Khanda’, indicating peace, harmony and universal oneness. The holistic approach of integrating art, architecture, interior, display and landscape gives life to the dead brick and concrete and makes the environment lively and puts soul in architecture. The Sikh art and architecture is being experienced as a travel journey of 550 years of Guru Nanak Dev and the Sikhs.”
Architect Surinder Bahga, founder, Saakaar Foundation, while summing up the discussions in three sessions, said: “All experts were of the view that we need to stress on creating a Sikh heritage fund to undertake research, publication, documentation and conservation of Sikh architecture and heritage. We would take up the issue with businessmen, Sikh organisations and different governments”
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