Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to clear the state government’s proposal for launching various projects worth Rs 937 crores, including the development of Sri Anandpur Sahib as Smart City, to pay befitting tributes to 9th Guru Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur, whose 400th Prakash Purab is being celebrated this year.
Participating virtually in the high-level national committee meeting, convened by the Prime Minister to finalise plans for a celebration of the 400th Prakash Purab, the Chief Minister said, “we are all fortunate to celebrate this great event in our lifetimes and I urge Modi to ensure that this historic event is commemorated not only at national but at a global level”. He said Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, also known as Hind Di Chadar, stands as a shining symbol of our country’s great pluralistic tradition and secularism, and his supreme sacrifice – ‘sis diya par sirr na diya’ – forms an important part of India’s history.
The Chief Minister said that he was “blessed” as during his present tenure he had got the opportunity to be part of the grand celebrations of the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh and the 550th Prakash Purab of Guru Nanak Dev also. “Even during my last tenure, I was fortunate to be part of the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Guru Granth Sahib ”, he said.
Briefing the Prime Minister on the memorandum sent to the centre in this regard, Captain Amarinder said his government plans to duly recognise the towns and villages associated with the life of Guru Sahib in the state by upgrading their infrastructure. Besides the city of Amritsar, the town of Sri Anandpur Sahib and Baba Bakala are significant in this regard, he said. In addition, he said that there are 78 villages in the state graced by the Guru (charan chho prapt).
Captain Amarinder said the proposal sent by the state government includes projects for development of infrastructure in and around Sri Anandpur Sahib, Amritsar and Baba Bakala; rejuvenation of village ponds and traditional water bodies for Water Conservation in 78 Punjab villages that were 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.
The Chief Minister further requested the Prime Minister that the Union Government should release a special commemorative stamp on this occasion. He 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 Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur’s life.
Captain Amarinder informed the Prime Minister 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.
The chief minister thanked the Prime Minister and the Home Minister, Amit Shah, for making elaborate plans for celebrations of this historic event across the country. “I’m grateful to you for giving such prominence to this event, as normally it is left to the state or communities to manage such celebrations”, he said while also appreciating Haryana Chief Minister’s assurance of organising befitting celebrations in his state too.
Besides the Prime Minister and the Home Minister, former Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker, Om Birla and Union Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh and Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge also participated in the virtual meeting. It may be mentioned that the high-level national committee was constituted by the Union Government on October 24 last year, to approve policies, plans and programmes related to the commemoration of the 400th Prakash Purab of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur. The committee comprises 70 members, with Prime Minister as its Chairman.