PM Modi At Red Fort To Mark 400th Birth Anniversary Of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib
The Central Government along with DSGMC on Thursday held a special event at Red Fort in New Delhi to celebrate the 400th Parkash Purab (birth anniversary) of Guru Tegh Bahadur at Red Fort in New Delhi. The Red Fort was selected as the venue because it is here that Mughal ruler Aurangzeb had given the order to behead Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Prime Minister Modi addressed the nation from the Red Fort as part of the celebration. In his address from Red Fort on April 21, Modi said, “In front of Aurangzeb’s tyrannical thinking, Guru Tegh Bahadur became ‘Hindi di Chadar’ and stood like a rock. This Red Fort is a witness that even though Aurangzeb severed many heads, but could not shake our faith.” PM Modi also released a commemorative coin and a postage stamp dedicated to Guru Tegh Bahadur on this occasion. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee too issued a statement on the same day in large congregation at Gurdwara Manji Sahib Diwan Hall, The SGPC called for “everybody’s religious freedom” to be “established and protected” following the ideology of the freedom fighter, Guru Tegh Bahadur. Jathedar Akal Takht Giani Harpreet Singh on Thursday said to achieve the trust of the Sikhs, the central government should fulfill every promise made to the community since the country’s independence by the previous regimes and address the issue of “state-led atrocities faced by Sikhs”. The Jathedar was speaking at the concluding congregation organised by the SGPC dedicated to the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur. “If the government wants to end this trust deficit and establish good relations with the community, it must take big decisions. The wrongs committed by successive Congress regimes by betraying the Sikhs must be corrected by the incumbent ruling party. The government must address state-led atrocities faced by the Sikhs in this country. Only then will we be ready to cooperate with it. If it is not done, the feeling of alienation in Sikhs will not end”, said the Jathedar of Akal Takht, the Sikh temporal seat. He further added: “The motive of the martyrdom of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib was to provide the right to practice their faith/religion to everyone, but today in India…the religious beliefs of minorities are being suppressed…. Sikh issues are not being resolved. The promises made to the Sikhs since Partition in 1947 have not been fulfilled and that is why there is an environment of disbelief among Sikhs.” Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Harjinder Singh Dhami too appealed to the Centre to resolve the issues of the Sikhs on the occasion of the 400 Parkash Purb (birth anniversary) of Guru Tegh Bahadur. Dhami said that it would have been a appropriate tribute to the Guru if on this day the Union government had freeed Sikh prisoners, handed over the management of various Sikh shrines in the country to the Sikhs and proclaimed tangible steps against hate crimes against Sikhs , in the country and abroad Dhami said the Sikhs are being deliberately harassed by making unnecessary issues with kirpan, one of five ‘kakaars’ (symbols of the Sikh faith) or turban, and sadly such incidents are not being stopped despite several written communications to the governments. He appealed to the government to adopt a sincere approach to these issues. SGPC general secretary Jathedar Karnail Singh Panjoli, in his speech, sought that the government should initiate steps to apologise for the “attack on Sri Harmandar Sahib and Sri Akal Takht Sahib '' and the 1984 riots. Panjoli also called for the abolition of a separate Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee. Following in the footsteps of the prime minister, the BJP-led Haryana government also hosted the state-level function to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur in Panipat on 24 April. Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who was among those to participate in the state-level event, said that Guru Tegh Bahadur sacrificed his life for religious freedom and humanity. He also said the Sikh Gurus have played a pivotal role in uniting India by preaching the message of love, equality, brotherhood and communal harmony in the society, adding that the teachings of Guru Tegh Bahadur are not only a rare heritage for us but are also one of the most significant foundations to build a strong, morally enlightened society.