In 1947, two independent nations were created – India and Pakistan. The borders of Punjab on the west and Bengal on the east witnessed large scale migration of communities: the Muslim population moved into Pakistan and Hindus, Sikhs and others, into India. Communities were uprooted from their homes. They brought with them memories of lost lands, culture, and associations. In a recent joint effort of both Pakistani and Indian governments, a ‘corridor’ has been created as a passage for the Sikh community to visit a very important religious shrine in Pakistan, Kartarpur, the place associated with Guru Nanak (the first Guru of the Sikhs spent last 18 years of his life) without a visa. This is the first time since 1947 that an effort has been made by the two countries, and in this case by using the power of cultural heritage for building peace and understanding.
Episode 6- ‘Kartarpur Corridor- Collective Memories of Connected Histories’ shows the engagement of the local community in taking care of the heritage of the ‘other’ as a service. It further challenges the notion of whose heritage is it in times of displacement, and the relationship between cultural heritage and the local community, those ‘displaced’ and further the ‘relocated’.
The full episode will be released in October during ICOMOS ADCOM 2020.