Between India and Pakistan - The Sikh Dilemma | Close up - The Current Affairs Documentary | DW | 20.01.2020
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Between India and Pakistan - The Sikh Dilemma

India and Pakistan traditionally have hostile relations, but there is hope on one front, at least. In order to enable the Sikhs from India to make a pilgrimage to one of their holiest shrines, a "peace corridor" has been opened between the two countries.

Watch video 27:21

Sikhs constitute the fourth largest religious community in India, but find themselves are caught between India and Pakistan, between Hindus and Muslims. The majority of Sikhs worldwide live on the Indian subcontinent. The hostile relations between India and Pakistan since partition in 1947 meant that for decades Sikhs were unable to visit their holiest shrine. Despite ongoing political tensions - especially concerning Kashmir - 73 years after their separation, India and Pakistan have fulfilled a promise that was made 20 years ago: on the occasion of the 550th birthday of the founder of their religion, Sikhs in India can now use a new border crossing to make a pilgrimage to the mausoleum of Guru Nanak in Kartarpur, Pakistan - four kilometers behind the border. The Kartarpur Corridor was opened on schedule by the prime ministers of the two countries - albeit not in a joint ceremony. Both spoke of a new "Peace Corridor". The opening of the corridor on 9 November 2019, the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, was no coincidence; Indian prime minister Narendra Modi directly compared the two historic events. This documentary accompanies an Indian Sikh who goes to Pakistan for the first time as part of a very special pilgrimage, while for outsiders also providing a better understanding of Sikhs as well as India and Pakistan.