To send a message of universal brotherhood on the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, Punjab government will invite religious heads of different faiths, including Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama, Puri Shankaracharya for the anniversary celebrations at Dera Baba Nanak in November.
To represent the Muslim community, discussions are underway to invite a religious leader from Mecca, along with Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid. It is learnt that the Dalai Lama has already confirmed his presence at the function.
The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of representatives of Sant Samaj with Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who is an MLA from Dera Baba Nanak. The government is organising two functions on the anniversary one at Sultanpur Lodhi and another at Dera Baba Nanak. The religious heads would be invited to the four-day function at Dera Baba Nanak. While the Dera Baba Nanak function would be organised from November 8 to 11, the Sultanpur Lodhi one will be organised on November 12.
The meeting decided to also invite descendants of Bhai Mardana and Sai Miya Mir, who was a disciple of Guru Teg Bahadur and had laid the foundation stone of Golden Temple in Amritsar. The family lives in Lahore.
The meeting also discussed inviting RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, but the suggestion was declined.
The government has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for flagging off a Jatha to Pakistan on November 8 and President Ram Nath Kovind for the November 12 function to be organised at Sultanpur Lodhi, where the government is preparing for a massive function by setting up a tent city. The religious gurus would be invited for Dera Baba Nanak, where the event would go on for four days.
Randhawa said that Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will write a formal letter to the religious heads to invite them for the function. He said they were fully prepared for the massive function at Dera Baba Nanak, which is a corridor from India to Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. “Not only the religious heads but a huge number of not only Sikh devotees, but Nanak Naam Levas would also be a part of the function.” Indian side is also constructing a corridor to link Kartarpur Sahib corridor on the other side of the border.
Sultanpur Lodhi is associated with Guru Nanak where he spent a number of years of his life with his sister Bebe Nanki. In Kartarpur Sahib, he spent the last 15 years of his life.