Research Into Sikh Heritage in Pakistan – Shahid Shabbir (aka Baba Ji)

Baba Ji , is freelance historian, and researcher, who is passionate about discovering the abandoned and obscure Punjabi ...

"I would like to say Thank You to Shahid Shabbir for his efforts and introduce him to readers of SikhNet on behalf of Sikh community."                                                                                                                                                 ~ Inderjeet Singh

Research into Sikh Heritage in Pakistan – Shahid Shabbir (aka Baba Ji)

ShahidShabbir (30K)Shahid Shabbir alias Baba Ji , is freelance historian, and researcher, who is passionate about discovering the abandoned and obscure Punjabi Sikh – Hindu heritage places, including Gurdwaras, Temples, Forts, Courts, Havelies (Mansions), Baags (Royal gardens), Barandaries (12 gates structures) etc. related to Sikh and Hindu religions in West Punjab.

Aptly called Baba during his childhood by his elders as Shahid was inclined to more serious stuff, Baba Ji is young and turned 40 this month. After completing Diploma in Floriculture, he moved to Islamabad from his ancestral city Lahore. Shahid works as a Landscape Designer and is pursuing MA in History from Open University along with his job and passion for finding historical structures in Pakistan. Apart from designing beautiful landscape, he has been exploring the ruins of temples & Sikh heritage in Pakistan.

In the past two years he has discovered many heritages sites related to Sikhs and Hindus in West Punjab, Pakistan. So far he has documented and uploaded videos and pictures of Gurdwaras and Temples which people outside Pakistan have rarely seen or heard. Baba Ji’s efforts are unique. He is raising the profile and creating awareness of the shared history between India and Pakistan. Shahid does not have monetary support from any academic or religious organisation nevertheless as he says he has the blessings and good will of his supporters on Facebook. Some of the Facebook pages he has been running are as follows:

SaveGurudwaras (39K)

SaveHistoricalPlaces (58K)

KhalsaRaj (30K)

KhoraySach (84K)
Follow the Facebook pages by clicking the images above.

Baba Ji has discovered different shapes of Gurdwaras over the centuries. Unlike in East Punjab where Sikhs in the name of Kar Seva, demolished all old structures and replaced them with dome shaped marble Gurdwaras, the Gurdwaras in Pakistan are intact and preserved in their pre-partition shape. 90% of Khalsa Raj and at least 50% of overall Sikh heritage are in Pakistan. If one visits the above Facebook pages, they would find videos with commentary and photographs of our historical structures left behind in Pakistan.

Baba Ji’s work has been widely appreciated by the Sikh community, especially by those connected to social media and radio. He was interviewed by Australia based Qaumi Awaaz Radio last year. This year he was interviewed 4 times by Gurwinder Singh of Voice of Khalsa, a USA based radio. These recording are available on YouTube. The print and Television media has been slow in recognising this tremendous work. Baba Ji is man of peace while politicians from both countries are busy in raising hate and war monger. Let’s give Shahid the credit and recognition which he richly deserves.

Gurwinder Singh with Shahid Shabbir (aka Baba Ji ) On Khalsa Raj

Inderjeet Singh

The author is a Nottingham (UK) based amateur historian with a keen interest in Punjab and Sikh history. He writes regularly for Sikhnet and runs a blog.

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