The Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today called upon the people to follow the teachings the legendary Sikh warrior Baba Banda Singh Bahadur in the right earnest to give a befitting reply to tyranny, oppression and injustice unleashed by the brutal forces, which would be a real tribute to the iconic hero on his 300th martyrdom anniversary.Addressing a massive gathering on the Shaheedi Samagam organized here at stadium of Mata Gujri College, the Chief Minister said that Baba Banda Singh Bahadur’s rare sacrifice in the annals of Indian History laid the foundation of Indian Freedom movement with establishing the first Sikh Raj way back in 1709. He also issued commemorative coins in the name of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji and Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji. Above all, he was a true champion of oppressed sections of the society especially the farmers upon whom he bestowed the ownership rights thereby abolishing the Zamindari system. Seeking inspiration from Baba Banda Singh Bahadur’s great philosophy, Mr. Badal said our government has also taken several pro-poor and farmer friendly initiatives to improve upon their lot in its own humble way.
The Chief Minister lamented that the Sikhs could only create history but unfortunately could not preserve their rich cultural heritage adding he said it was an established fact that those nations which tend to forget their history were either perished or decimated for times to come. Mr. Badal apprised the Union Home Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh that the Punjab was the only state which had not only preserved the legacy of Sikh Panth but also other religions and communities besides showcasing the immense contribution of several unsung heroes of national Freedom Struggle to demonstrate the real spirit of secularism and patriotism. The Chief Minister mentioned few of important memorials viz. Virasat-e-Khalsa at Sri Anandpur Sahib, Jang-e-Azadi Memorial at Kartarpur (Jalandhar), Bhagwan Valmik Tirath Sathal at Amritsar and Guru Ravidass Memorial at Khuralgarh (Hoshiarpur).Mr. Badal said that Sikhism propagated the true model of socialism which was evident from the concept of Sangat and Pangat in the community kitchen, commonly known as langar. Likewise, the foundation of Sri Harmandir Sahib was laid down by the Muslim Seer Sai Mian Mir to foster the concept of secularism.
Highly appreciating the efforts of BJP led NDA Government at Centre, the Chief Minister thanked Mr. Rajnath Singh for constituting SIT to reopen the cases of 1984 Sikh Holocaust besides enhancing the compensation to its victims from Rs. 3.5 lac to Rs. Five lac. Mr. Badal said that with these initiatives, these hapless victims had last seen a light at the end of the tunnel after a period of 32 years thereby assuaging the tormented psyche of Sikhs. On the contrary, the Congress deliberately eluded justice to these victims and rubbed salt in their wounds to shield the guilty and dilly-dallying the legal process to protect their top leadership allegedly involved in this Genocide.The Punjab Deputy Chief Minister S. Sukhbir Singh Badal said the state Government is fully aware of its responsibility to make the younger generation to comprehend the glorious cultural and heritage of the state. Keeping in view, Punjab is contemplating to launch a scheme so that the youth from villages across the state could witness the historical monuments in the buses on the lines of 'Tirath Yatra Scheme'.
Disclosing this at a function at Sri Fatehgarh Sahib to mark the 300th martyrdom day of Baba Banda Singh Ji Bahadur, the Deputy CM said Baba Banda Singh Ji Bahadur was a great warrior who avenged the martyrdom of Chhote Sahibzade and Mata Gujar Kaur Ji by defeating and killing infamous Subedar of Sirhind Wazir Khan in the battle of Chappar Chiri.
The Deputy Chief Minister further said Baba Banda Singh Ji Bahadur was a true champion of the farmers and people belonging to the poor sections of the society and in the first 'Khalsa Raj' that he established, the rights of land were given to the tillers. Not only this, he issued coins in the name of Guru Sahib.
Throwing light on the initiatives of the Punjab Government, he said the Chief Minister, S. Parkash Singh Badal is paying special attention to the preservation of heritage of State and the Sikhs and constructed Chhota and Vadda Ghallughara memorials including many other memorials besides taking special care to celebrate the sacred occasions of all the religions.Taking to task those trying to defame Punjab by branding its entire youth as drug addicts, he said anti-Punjab and anti-Panthic people have evil designs on their mind as such unscrupulous elements want to disturb hard earned peace of the state. He, however, reiterated that the Punjab Government would not allow the nefarious plans of such forces to succeed.Making a clarion call to the youth to take pride in the rich and sublime traditional history of the state, S. Sukhbir Singh Badal exhorted the elders to bring the youngsters to as many such occasions as possible because it is the best way to guide our young guns about the splendid cultural roots and history of Punjab which is replete with numerous sacrifices made by our martyrs.
Paying homage to the Sikh hero Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, the Union Home Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh said that historians had not done justice with his unprecedented sacrifice and thus exhorted them to sincerely project the factual account of the events related to Baba Banda Singh Bahadur’s martyrdom in the right perspective so as to enable the people especially the youngsters to apprise them with the valiant deeds of this national hero, which inspired thousands of his countrymen to protest against the tyrannical forces. Lauding the contribution of Khalsa Panth for the sake of country, the Union Home Minister said that it had served as Security Shield (Surakhya Kavach) to safeguard the Indian Culture and civilization.Expressing heartfelt sympathies with the victims of 1984 Sikh genocide, the Home Minister said that the Centre was fully seized of this highly sensitive issue and all out efforts were made to resolve it to their satisfaction. Elaborating on this issue, he said that the Union government had already constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to thoroughly probe in these cases related to this inhuman tragedy, which has so far identified 22 out of 286 cases, which needed re-investigation. As a Home Minister, he assured the Sikh community that law of the land would take its own course and victims of this unfortunate tragedy would be given justice at all costs without any further delay.
Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Dr. Charanjit Singh Atwal, Cabinet Minister Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema, Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia, Mr. Madan Mohan Mittal, Mr. Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Jathedar Tota Singh and Mr. Surjit Singh Rakhra, Chief Parliamentary Secretaries Mr. NK Sharma, Mr. Parkash Chand Garg, Mr. Gobind Singh Longowal and Sant Balbir Singh Ghunas, MLA Justice (retd) Nirmal Singh, Member Rajya Sabha Mr. Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Mr. Balwinder Singh Bhunder and Lok Sabha Member Prof. Prem Singh Chandumajra, President SGPC Jathedar Avtar Singh, President DSGMC Mr. Manjit Singh GK and General Secretary Mr. Manjinder Singh Sirsa, Former SGPC Chief Prof. Kirpal Singh Badungar, Ex-Chief State BJP Mr. Kamal Sharma, District President SAD Fatehgarh Sahib Mr. Ranjit Singh Libra and local Akali leaders Mr. Didar Singh Bhatti and Mr. Jagdeep Singh Cheema besides Principal Secretary Cultural Affairs Mrs. Anjali Bhawra and Special Principal Secretary to CM Mr. KJS Cheema.