PM participates in the celebrations of 400th Parkash Purab of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji

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The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi participated in the celebrations of the 400th Parkash Purab of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji at Red Fort in New Delhi today. The Prime Minister offered prayers to Shri Guru Teg Bahadur ji. The Prime Minister sat in prayer when 400 Ragis offered shabad/kirtan. The Prime Minister was honoured by the Sikh leadership on the occasion. The Prime Minister also released a commemorative coin and postage stamp on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that by the grace of the Gurus the country is going ahead as per the teachings of the revered Gurus. The Prime Minister bowed at the feet of the Gurus. The Prime Minister underlined the historical significance of Red Fort as it witnessed the martyrdom of Guru Teg Bahadur Ji and has been a reflection of the history and aspiration of the nation. In this backdrop today’s programme at this historical venue assumes great significance, he said.

The Prime Minister emphasized that India’s freedom from hundreds of year of slavery and India’s independence cannot be separated from its spiritual and cultural journey. That is why, the country is celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and 400th Parkash Purab of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji together with identical resolve. “Our Gurus always took the responsibility of society and culture along with knowledge and spirituality. They made strength a medium of service”, he added.

The Prime Minister said “this land of India is not just a country but it is our great heritage and a great tradition. It has been nourished by our sages, Gurus with hundreds of thousands of years of tapsaya and enrichment of its thoughts.” Shri Modi said that nearby Gurudwara Sheeshganj Sahib, which is symbol of Guru Teg Bahadur Ji’s immortal sacrifice, reminds us about the enormity of Guru Teg Bahadur’s sacrifice. The Prime Minister recalled the religious fanaticism and the extreme atrocities of those who resorted to violence in the name of religion in that period. “At that time, a great hope for India to save its identity emerged in the form of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji. In front of Aurangzeb’s tyrannical thinking Guru Tegh Bahadur ji, stood as  ‘Hind di Chadar’, like a rock.”, the Prime Minister said. The sacrifice of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji has inspired many generations of India to live and die to protect the dignity of their culture and for its honor and respect. Big powers have disappeared, big storms have calmed down, but India still stands immortal, moving forward, He added. Today, Shri Modi stressed, once again the world is looking towards India with hope and expectation. “We feel blessings of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji everywhere in the aura of ‘New India’”, The Prime Minister said.

Underlining the presence of Guru’s impact and light of their wisdom in every nook and corner of the country, the Prime Minister said Guru Nanak Dev ji united the whole country in one thread. Guru Tegh Bahadur’s followers were everywhere. Referring to holy Patna Sahib in Patna and Rakabganj Sahib in Delhi, the Prime Minister commented  “we see ‘Ek Bharat’ everywhere in the form of the wisdom and blessings of Gurus”. Touching upon the government’s effort to celebrate Sikh heritage the Prime Minister pointed out that last year itself, the government decided to celebrate Veer Bal Diwas on 26th December in memory of the great sacrifice of Sahibzadas. The government is also making continuous efforts to connect the pilgrimages of Sikh tradition. Wait for Kartar Sahib is over and many government schemes are making pilgrimage of these holy places easy and accessible.  Under Swadesh Darshan Scheme, a pilgrimage circuit is coming up comprising many prominent places including Anandpur Sahib and Amritsar Sahib. Ropeway work is progressing at Hemkunt Sahib. Bowing to the glory of Guru Granth Sahib, Shri Modi said “Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, for us, is a guide of self-realization as well as a living form of India’s diversity and unity. Therefore, the government left no stone unturned when crisis arose in Afghanistan and the Holy ‘Swaroop’ of Guru Granth Sahib was brought with all the respect.” He also said that by Citizenship Amendment Act, path of citizenship for Sikhs and minorities coming from neighbouring counties has been cleared.

Speaking about the philosophical core of India, the Prime Minister said “India has never posed a threat to any country or society. Even today we think for the welfare of the whole world. When we talk about self-reliant India, we keep the progress of the whole world at the forefront.”  Today’s India strives for peace with complete stability even in the midst of global conflicts, and India is equally firm for defence and security of the country. Before us is the great Sikh tradition given by the Gurus, he added.

The Gurus put forward new ideas by putting aside the old stereotypes. Their disciples adopted them and learned from them. This social campaign of new thinking was an innovation at the level of thinking. The Prime Minister continued,  “new thinking, continuous hard work and 100% dedication, this is the identity of our Sikh society even today. This is the resolve of the country today in the time of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. We have to be proud of our identity. We have to be proud of the local, we have to build a self-reliant India.