Former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Wednesday appealed to all to take forward Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev's message of mutual love and respect and ensure an equitable society.
Advocating that peace and harmony was the only way forward to ensure a prosperous future, he expressed hope that the Kartarpur model will be replicated in the future too for a lasting resolution of conflicts.
"Guru Nanak Devji's eternal message of oneness of God, religious tolerance and peace can pave the way to end sectarian violence," which, the former prime minister said was the biggest challenge facing the world.
"Punjab is Guru Nanak Devji's karam bhoomi. How will we keep his legacy alive if its youth is wasted with drugs, water is becoming poisonous and women are being disrespected? It is the most crucial question on his 550th birth anniversary," he said at the special commemorative session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha to mark the 550th Prakash Purb of Guru Nanak Dev.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu was the special guest at the session, where Punjab governor VPS Badnore, Haryana governor Satyadev Narayan Arya, Haryana chief minister ML Khattar and Haryana deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala, were also present along with several MPs as well as MLAs from Punjab and Haryana.
Addressing the gathering, Naidu also described Guru Nanak Dev as one of India's most democratic spiritual leaders and said a new world of peace and sustainable development can be found if the teachings of the first Sikh Guru are integrated into daily lives. Naidu, who started his address in Punjabi, said he was happy to attend the special session and also praised Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana KP Singh and Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for taking an initiative to organise the event.
Wednesday's event was the first time after the creation of the state of Haryana out of Punjab in 1966 that MLAs of both Punjab and Haryana sat together in the Punjab Assembly.
"It is quite appropriate that this temple of democracy is dedicating a special session to one of India's most democratic spiritual leaders,” said Naidu in his address. “Guru Nanak ji belongs to the long illustrious tradition of India's visionary spiritual leaders who have illumined human existence and greatly enriched the country's cultural capital,” he added.
On the occasion, the Punjab chief minister honoured the vice president and the former prime minister, governors of Punjab and Haryana, and the Chief Minister of Haryana with gold and silver commemorative coins, mementos, and sets of books.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Nov 07, 2019 00:13:41 IST