Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said he would take up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi the issue of prevailing upon Pakistan to grant Indian devotees open access to more historic gurdwaras across the border.
The announcement was made during the 550th Prakash Purb of Guru Nanak Dev, where President Ram Nath Kovind joined the Chief Minister in leading the historic celebrations in the state.
Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot were among the galaxy of luminaries present at the state-level function to mark the occasion.
The Chief Minister, on the occasion, also announced his government’s decision to honour Punjab Police personnel with ‘Prakash Purb Tagma’ (medal) for their service to the state in the true spirit of Guru Nanak’s ideology.
The Chief Minister also announced that the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations, which commenced last year, would continue till November 2020.
Addressing a religious congregation, the Chief Minister said as per his government’s decision to release 550 convicts prematurely to mark the historic occasion, 450 had already been freed, while the others would be released over the next few months.
The Chief Minister welcomed millions of devotees who had converged from different parts of the country and abroad here to participate in the Prakash Purb celebrations.
The Sehaj Path, jointly organized by the Punjab government, Sant Samaj and various Sikh religious organisations commenced on November 5.
Once again expressing his gratitude to Prime Minister Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for helping realise the Sikh community’s dream of visiting the Kartarpur Gurdwara, Amarinder Singh hoped this would be followed by more such gurdwaras in Pakistan being opened to Indian devotees.
He said he would personally take up the matter with Modi and urge him to raise the issue with Imran to facilitate the realization of the Sikh community’s dream to visit those gurdwaras, such as Panja Sahib and Nankana Sahib, also.
Amarinder Singh acknowledged the support given by the Central government in making the historic celebrations a success and expressed happiness at the participation of people from different political parties, as a befitting tribute to the first Sikh master, who always spoke of ‘Sarbat Da Bhala’.
The Chief Minister said the followers of Guru Nanak Dev’s ideology lived not only in Punjab and India, but across the globe.
The Chief Minister underlined the importance of following Guru Nanak Dev’s message ‘Pavan Guru, Pani Pita, Mata Dharat Mahat’ i.e. air the guru, water the father and the earth the mother by protecting the environment for the future generations.
He exhorted all to make judicious use of ground water, which was swiftly depleting, and to refrain from burning paddy stubble and excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides. He appealed to everyone to preserve nature and natural resources to make Punjab clean, green and pollution-free.
Speaking on the occasion, President Kovind described Guru Nanak Dev as an apostle of love, peace and religious tolerance, and a champion of equality.
“Guru ji’s ‘Bani’ continues to inspire millions,” he said, advocating pursuance of his teachings in letter and in spirit for the creation of harmonious society.
The President thanked the Punjab Chief Minister for inviting him on this historic occasion.