Confusion on Guru Teg Bahadur 400th birth anniversary

Harjap Singh Aujla
Covid-19 has confused even the governments. Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally holds the supreme sacrifice of Guru Teg Bahadur in very high esteem. He had grand plans to celebrate the 400th Birth Anniversary of Guru Teg Bahadur in a befitting way. The place of birth of the 9th Guru is the city of Amritsar. It is known as Guru Ke Mahal and is situated very close to the Golden Temple in the old highly congested Amritsar. It is quite natural that the major programs of the birth anniversary should be held in the city of his birth. This downtown area is not very clean at this moment. It needs immediate attention from the municipal body. In 2019, the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev was celebrated on a grand scale. The Punjab Government decided to plant five hundred and fifty trees in every one of the over twelve thousand villages of the state. It was a noble idea, but there was no monitoring of the trees that survived or perished. In a similar gesture, the Punjab Government wants to plant 400 trees in every village of Punjab in connection with the celebration of Guru Teg Bahadur’s 400th birth anniversary. No one can reliably guesstimate the survival rate of these trees. The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) wants to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime occasion in the Guru Ke Mahal and the Golden Temple. On the other hand, the Punjab Government is planning to hold the major celebrations at Anandpur Sahib. This has confused the central government. The union ministry of information and broadcasting is also confused. The All India Radio and Doordarshan authorities don’t know what to do. Logically both should have national hook-ups, but in the absence of a concrete plan, both are thoroughly confused. The celebrations are at hand, but there is no concrete plan and no timetable has been set. The SGPC, in view of the menace of Covid-19 pandemic, has decided to give free-of-cost live radio and television signals to all the radio and television channels in India and abroad in connection with the major celebration of an important anniversary. I think All India Radio and Doordarshan should not miss this opportunity. They should send their outdoor broadcast vans to Amritsar. By doing so, big crowds can be avoided and safe social distances can be maintained during the major celebrations on 29th  and 30th of April and the 1st of May 2021.