While the Sikh community is preparing to celebrate the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, at the Kartarpur Sahib, Pakistan’s move to charge a high entry fee for the holy pilgrimage has left many Sikh devotees dismayed.
Pakistan is reportedly planning to charge $20 (Rs 1428 to each visitor of the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara.
The Indian government has appealed to Pakistan several times not to charge such a high entry fee but all requests have gone unheard.
Apart from the $20 entry fee, Pakistan is also planning to charge Rs 151 from every Kartarpur Sahib visitor for 100 gram of ‘prasad’.
Although the prasad is free, the Pakistan-based Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee is levying a charge of Rs 151 for packaging.
If we do some calculation, packing 100 gram Prasad should not cost more than Rs 10 even with the best quality packing material. Therefore, Pakistan’s costing is definitely unjustified.
Generally, in every Gurudwara, a Halwa made of wheat and Ghee (clarified butter, called ‘Kada Prasad’, is offered to the devotees.
However, as Halwa cannot be kept for too long and is easily perishable, devotees visiting the Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan will be given ‘Pinni-prasad’ (A traditional Punjabi dry sweet made with whole wheat and dry fruits. Hundred-gram packs of Pinni-prasad will be offered to every devotee.
Pakistan has, however, notified that devotees will not be charged to carry the holy water available in the Kartarpuir Sahib gurudwara.
As per the Kartarpur Corridor agreement, 5000 devotees will enter Pakistan every day to visit the Kartarpur Sahib. And, if we do the math, by charging each visitor Rs 1400, Pakistan will make around Rs 71 lakh every day just by the entry fee and this amount will tune to Rs 21 crore every month for the debt-ridden nation.