Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday announced his Government’s decision to commemorate the 400th birth anniversary of the Ninth Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Teg Bahadur ji, on April 18, 2021, with year-long celebrations beginning April 12 this year.
Chairing a high level meeting here at his official residence, Captain Amarinder Singh asked the Tourism and Cultural Affairs Department to organize a mega function on Guru Ji’s 399th Prakash Purb at the historic town of Baba Bakala and the concluding function on his 400th birth anniversary at Sri Anandpur Sahib on April 18, 2021.
Captain Amarinder Singh said that Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji’s unparalleled and supreme sacrifice to uphold the value of righteousness, truth and freedom of faith would be always be remembered by one and all, and Guru Ji’s teachings must be disseminated in every nook and corner of the world. Notably, Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji (April 1, 1621-November 11, 1675) resisted forced conversion of Hindus/Kashmiri Pandits and non-Muslims to Islam and was martyred in 1675 on the orders of the then Mughal Emperor in Delhi.
The Chief Minister also gave the nod to constitute an executive committee under his chairmanship to finalise the broad contours of the mega events, besides approving a steering committee to be headed by the Chief Secretary to coordinate and chalk out several programmes to be organised by various departments throughout the year, to spread the teachings of Guru Ji.
Captain Amarinder also directed Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Charanjit Singh Channi to prepare a comprehensive proposal for the overall development of three cities - Amritsar (the birth place of Guru Ji), Baba Bakala (the place where Guru Ji stayed at his ancestral house) and Sri Anandpur Sahib (the town founded by Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji), in consultation with the local MPs and MLAs, to be submitted to Government of India for seeking financial assistance for the commemoration of this historic event on a immense scale.
The Chief Minister also asked the Departments of Higher Education, School Education, Sports, Information and Public Relations, besides the Punjab Arts Council, to finalise modalities for holding series of programmes including seminars, symposiums and lectures by the eminent Sikh scholars, historians and academicians to throw light on various facets of life and philosophy of Guru Ji amongst people, especially the youngsters. Captain Amarinder Singh also asked the Secretary Tourism and Cultural Affairs to ensure the completion of Baba Jiwan Singh Ji (Bhai Jaita Ji) memorial at Sri Anandpur Sahib at the earliest, so that the same could be dedicated to the Sangat on the historic occasion.
It may be recalled that Bhai Jaita Ji-the great Sikh General, credited with bringing the severed head (sheesh) of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, from Delhi to Sri Anandpur Sahib.
Meanwhile, the Rural Development and Panchayats Department informed the meeting that as many as 99 ‘charan choh prapat’ places, including towns and villages graced by the Guru Ji, have been identified. The Chief Minister, however, asked the Secretary Tourism and Cultural Affairs Department to get these places meticulously authenticated from the historians’ committee so that these could be considered for development grant to spruce the existing infrastructure and basic civic amenities.
Prominent amongst others who attended the meeting were Tourism & Cultural Affairs Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Chairman Punjab Arts Council Dr. Surjit Patar, Additional Chief Secretary Local Government Sanjay Kumar, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, Principal Secretary PWD Vikas Partap, Secretary Tourism & Cultural Affairs Husan Lal, Secretary Information and Public Relations Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, Secretary Higher Education Rahul Bhandari, Director Tourism and Cultural Affairs M.S. Jaggi, Additional Secretary Water Supply & Sanitation Mohd. Ishfaq and StateTransport Commissioner Dr. Amarpal Singh.