By Faizan Ali Warraich
LAHORE: The 550 Sikhs are here to attend their annual religious rituals on the 177th death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh have good news that they will carry back to their countries. Evacuee Trust Property Board has announced to make Sikh Heritage Museum in the city.
The setting up of museum is part of efforts to promote religious tourism in the country particularly in Punjab, which has huge potential to attract Sikh yatrees and contribute millions of rupees in the national exchequer. The museum will be built in collaboration with Fakir Khana Museum (private museum run by Fakir Syed Saifuddin).
Sikh Heritage Museum would be the first of its kind to be set up in Lahore that would house rare and antique collection of relics and artifacts of Sikh era of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and afterwards. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the founder of Sikh empire in Punjab who ruled from 1799 to 1849.
Chairman Evacuee Trust Property Board announced setting up of the museum during his address to Sikh Yatrees visiting Pakistan these days. Fakir Khana Museum’s Director Saiffudin said that Sikh legacy would be preserved for the coming generations with the setting up of museum. “Guru Nanak, founder of Sikh religion preached the message of humanity. The legacy was followed later by Gurus of the Sikh religion and then in Sikh rule under Ranjit Singh.
Collecting antique items related to the Sikh era under one roof would be a good effort to preserve the heritage,” Saiffudin said.
“We are hopeful that through these kinds of initiatives by government religious tourism in our country would definitely get good boost,” Saiffudin stressed.
A book on the history of the Sikhs rule in Punjab will be written in collaboration with Faqir Khana Museum.
The museum will showcase the rare miniature paintings of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, clothing and dresses, antique utensils, some of the important treaties signed between Sikh and British governments, letters, manuscripts, jewellery, weaponry and other related artifacts.
Answering a query, Saifuddin said that Lahore Fort which also has a Sikh Museum had number of rare antiques related to Princess Bamba Sutherland, who was the last member of the family that ruled the Sikh Empire in Punjab.
MPA Ramesh Singh Arora said that a street or a building would be named after Maharaj Ranjit Singh on which Punjab Assembly has passed the resolution.
(Courtesy The Nation, Pakistan)