“Nanak Naam Chardi Kalan, Tere Bhaane Sarbat Da Bhala!” With these words, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday launched the year-long celebrations of the 550th Parkash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, calling upon all people to set aside their religious and political differences to join his government in making the commemorative events memorable.
Addressing a large gathering here, the Chief Minister greeted one and all on the auspicious occasion of Gurpurab and exhorted the people to reconnect with the teachings, principles and ideals enunciated by Guru Ji. He invited people from across the world to participate in the celebrations.
Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, along with various other prominent Congress leaders, including AICC Secretary Asha Kumari and PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar, were also present on the auspicious occasion.
Governor VP Singh Badnore joined the year-long celebrate launch ceremony and inaugurated an exhibition – `From Rabab to Nagra’, curated by historian Dr. Mohinder Singh, director of Delhi-based National Institute of Punjab Studies.
Promising that his government would do its best to observe this occasion in a befitting manner, the Chief Minister said the the state government considered itself fortunate to be given the opportunity to observe the historic event in Punjab. The government will observe the event as a non-political and bi-partisan affair, he said, appealing to all people to shed their political and other differences to come together to observe this event.
Today, considerations of caste, creed, inequality are again rampant in our society, he lamented, adding that “We need to rise above these on the path shown by Guru Sahib.” If Punjab has to regain its number one position in the country, we need to maintain bhai-chara and saanjh and not get divided on different lines, asserted the Chief Minister.
Captain Amarinder said his Government would also welcome and respect the valuable suggestions from the Sangat, and would leave no stone unturned to make the event an occasion to cherish and remember.
Recalling the various submissions made by his government to the Prime Minister for supporting the state’s initiative for the special events, the Chief Minister thanked Narendra Modi, and the Government of India, for acceding to the requests of the State Government on behalf of the people of Punjab and Punjabis living across the world.
Captain Amarinder also congratulated all Punjabis on the Centre’s decision to develop the Kartarpur corridor, saying a long pending demand of Punjab was on the verge of fulfilment on November 26, when he would join the President of India to lay the foundation stone for the corridor. He also thanked the Government of Pakistan for reciprocating on the issue and said his government will also contribute, as may be required, to ensure timely completion of the project.
The Chief Minister said money would be no constraint for the various development and welfare projects launched/announced by him today, to ensure befitting commemoration of the historic celebrations.
Addressing the gathering, Dr. Manmohan Singh expressed gratitude to Captain Amarinder and his government for giving him the opportunity to be part of this special moment. He expressed the hope that all would rise above the petty considerations of communalism and hatred to celebrate the event in a befitting manner.
The former prime minister cautioned people against attempts by communal forces to divide the nation, and exhorted them to participate in the year-long celebration with full enthusiasm and gaiety, regardless of caste, colour, creed and religion.
Governor Badnore said it was a matter of pride for him to be part of the auspicious occasion. He called for universal brotherhood as the key message of the commemorative events.
In his address, Jakhar congratulated Captain Amarinder for the Centre’s decision to develop the Kartarpur corridor.
Speaking on the occasion, Bab Sarabjot Singh of the Bedi Sant Samaaj appealed for unity for observing this historic moment, and termed the occasion as an opportunist given by the Akal Purukh to send a message of unity throughout the world.
Ex cricketer Kapil Dev presented his book, `We the Sikhs around the world’, relating to 100 Gurdwaras across the globe, to Dr Manmohan Singh, Badnore and Capt Amarinder.