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Gurdwara Bhai Phero stands majestically at the end of the local Anarkali Market in the town which has also taken the name of Bhai Phero. Both are situated sixty kilometers from Lahore on the Lahore-Multan road presently in in Pakistan.

The present Gurdwara was built by the then Mahant in collaboration with the local Sangat in 1910.

Though the word Mahant seems similar to Masand, (at least to my 'western' ear) the Mahants were men, often Hindus - at first very sympathetic to the Sikhs, who had been entrusted with managing Gurdwaras, since the days when having a turban and untrimmed beard was the same as having a death warrant on one's head. Under the British , who did not see a strong Sikh revival in their best interests, many Mahants, especially after the turn of the century had taken to seeing themselves as the hereditary owners of the Gurdwaras, the Gurdwaras' lands and funds; with many even going so far as to include murtis, Nauch girls and debauchery in the Guru's (the SGGS) and Waheguru's Earthly Doorways. Practices considered very beadabi to Sikhs. That they fought this practice in India's first peaceful morcha, only on their part (as thousands were brutally killed or wounded during the protests, is a great credit to the teachings of Guru Nanak and the other Sikh Padshahs.

See origin of non voilence  for more reading on the movement for the Sikhs to regain control of their own houses of worship. Only in todays 'Tibet' can I even think of a similar situation where foreigners have taken control of another Religions' places of worship.

According to the agreement reached on 21st Dec 1922, the responsibility of maintenance of the Gurdwara was handed over to the Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee by the Mahant on 28th December 1922. The Gurdwara's caretaker was not one of the many who had not disgraced their Gurdwara and Sangat, as the Committee sanctioned a monthly allowance of Rs.400 for the Mahant.

 



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