Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The perfect Gurudwara setting - almost

A few days ago I was looking at pictures posted by solarider on his flicker account. One picture which caught my attention was that of a new gurudwara being constructed with a superb lawn in front. Wow, I thought, why can't all gurudwaras be like this.

But the dream was short-lived, as when I asked solarider about the gurdwara, this was his response:

The Gurdwara is the new one in Gravesend, and I'm afraid that the lawn in front is destined to be a public football ground - something that I am totally opposed to - but the decision has been made. So I expect to see all sorts of drinking and smoking there .... *sigh*

The Gurdwara will take quite a few more years to complete yet as well. It's an ambitious project!


Update: Click here to read a recent BBC article on this

picture courtesy of solarider

4 comments:

SS said...

I'm always banging on about co-incidences in my blog (my life seems to be full of so many) and here's another:

Looks like the BBC mentioned the exact same Gurdwara yesterday:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/4306532.stm

On the subject of the field, my understanding is that this was all part of the negotiations with the local council and that dictated it's conditions of use. I personally did not become aware of this fact until recently. Much the same is now being said about the Gurdwara car park being available for public use (will this also be used for inappropriate acts consequently?).

As far as I am concerned this is part of the Gurdwara complex/grounds and thus should include a complete ban on drinking, smoking etc. Additionally It is highly likely that football games will be taking place while programmes are being held inside; are we to witness the sounds of swearing and inappropriate chanting coming from the field at the same time.

I don't know if there are policies in place to deal with the type of situations I'm describing; but experience suggests not. I would be happy to be proved wrong.

On the positive side the local Gatka Akhara will also be able to use it for demonstations and practise (we've needed a good space for chakra throwing practise) and the local Punjabi School kids can use it as a field during breaktimes.

However I just wish that this field was a full blown extension of the Gurdwara's grounds and had been treated as such and that only 'appropriate' use would have been made of it.

I can hope that the situation will be rectified.

But the point is somewhat moot at the moment as completion of the Gurdwara is still many years away and by then the rot on the use of the field might have set in and well you all know how hard it is to create and how easy it is to destroy. Something that never seems to occur to our quam.

I will try and post more pics and there are others on my Flickr account; as despite my reservations - it is an imposing structure.

Oh and I wish they would forget about the marble. It's not needed!

Apologies for the (somewhat) negative tone of this comment.

GurFateh

msingh said...

Thanks for the BBC link. No lottery funding here, the £9m project is being funded entirely by the local community and partly built by volunteers.

The time has come for us to be thinking 'outside the box' building new Gurudwaras. The new Singh Sabha in Southall to me is a prime example - it's major achievement is that it's a great structure, otherwise status quo. What about creating other achievements such as a crèche, resource rooms for young Sikhs (media, music, seminars, health awareness, etc)?

While I agree that we need to think about Gurdwaras in the wider community context and be progressive/innovative, the combination of Gurudwara and football ground does not work for me.

On the subject of greenery and open space around Gurudwaras I've been harping about creating this around Harmandar Sahib, but it seems vested interests within our 'leaders' will not allow this to happen. I've even thought of setting up a website (www.freeharmandarsahib.com) to lobby for this...

ss said...

Many people I talk to express similar views on the provision of facilities for young sikhs - even committee members. But we need more than just lip service on such issues. We (as a community) tend to overspend on 'splendour' and neglect the provision for the future. When they eventually reliase how much everything is going to cost to build and run then it's the such schemes that suffer the cutbacks first. I was looking at Sikhi Seekers site and she has some very encouraging information about the resource centre at Dixie Gurdwara in Toronto. It looks well resourced and used. Ideal.

Interesting thought on the subject of spaces around Gurudwara's - it's really got me thinking. I think we should brainstorm a bit on this - I feel more blog entries coming up ;-)

ਿੲਕ ਿਸੰਘ said...

this is nice! good ideas!