Updated: April 9, 2021 4:14:22 am
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to clear his government’s proposal for launching projects worth Rs 937 crore, including the development of Anandpur Sahib as Smart City, to pay befitting tributes to 9th Sikh master, Guru Tegh Bahadur, whose 400th birth anniversary is being celebrated this year.
Participating virtually in a national committee meeting convened by the PM to finalise plans for the celebrations, he said, “We are all fortunate to celebrate this great event in our lifetime and I urge Modiji to ensure that this historic event is commemorated not only at national but at a global level”.
Amarinder said Guru Tegh Bahadur, also known as “Hind Di Chadar”, stands as a shining symbol of the country’s great pluralistic tradition and secularism.
The committee comprises 70 members, with PM as its chairman. The PM said a number of activities will be organised that should be such that not only the life and teachings of Guru Tegh Bahadur but also of the entire Guru tradition is propagated the world over.
Hailing the social service rendered by the Sikh community and gurudwaras all over the world, Modi said proper research and documentation on this aspect of the Sikh tradition should be done.
The Sikh Guru tradition is a complete life philosophy in itself, he said, adding the occasion of the 400th Prakash Purab of Guru Tegh Bahadur is a spiritual privilege as well as a national duty.
Meanwhile, briefing Modi on the memorandum sent to the Centre, Amarinder said his government plans to duly recognise the towns and villages associated with the life of Guru Sahib by upgrading their infrastructure. Besides the city of Amritsar, the towns of Sri Anandpur Sahib and Baba Bakala are significant in this regard, he said. “In addition,” he said, “there are 78 villages in the state graced by the Guru (charan chho prapt).”
“The proposal by the state government includes projects for development of infrastructure in and around Sri Anandpur Sahib, Amritsar and Baba Bakala; rejuvenation of ponds and traditional water bodies for water conservation in 78 villages visited by the Guru; and setting up Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur School of Textile Technology and Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Handicrafts at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and Sathiala (Baba Bakala), respectively,” Amarinder said.
He urged the Union government to release a special commemorative stamp on this occasion. He also suggested that the commemorative events should be held all across the country, as well as at all Indian missions abroad, in order to carry the powerful message of Guru Tegh Bahadur’s life.
He told Modi that the details of the main programme on May 1 are being finalised, keeping in mind the Covid situation in the country and particularly in Punjab.
Participating in the meeting, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said, “Haryana shares a special bond with Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, the greatest humanitarian this world has ever seen”.
He said his state too has planned several event and urged the PM to include important historic places of Haryana related to the Guru to the travel list of the devotees who would be part of a “nagar kirtan” to be organised later as a part of these celebrations.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal, who too attended the meeting, requested that a world class museum be established in Delhi to showcase the life and sacrifice of Guru Tegh Bahadur. “This is the need of the hour to make the new generation aware of the sacrifice of Guru Tegh Bahadur as well as those of his followers,” he said.
Sukhbir also called for “withdrawing all cases against farmers as well as youth which had been registered as part of the ‘kisan andolan’ in the spirit of ‘sarbat da bhala’ (welfare of all).”
Sukhbir also urged that the birth anniversary of Guru on May 1 should be observed as “National Integration Day” and that his life and sacrifice as well as that of the other Gurus should be included in the school curriculum.
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