To mark the historic 550th Prakash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday announced his government’s decision to install a Chair in the name of the first Guru in 11 universities, including one from Iran.The Chief Minister made the announcement at a function at the Punjab Technical University here, in the presence of all the 11 universities, of which seven are in Punjab and three spread across India. The Chair will be entrusted with the task of conducting research on the life and teachings of Guru ji, he said.The event was held to honour and award 400 Nanak Nam Leva prominent Punjabis from around the world for their remarkable contribution in various fields. The Chief Minister expressed happiness at seeing Punjabis making the state and the country proud with their achievements.Captain Amarinder exhorted the Punjabis to remember their roots at all times and join his government in helping revive the state and create opportunities for the progress of its youth, who had the power and the inclination to work but lacked opportunities here at present. “Let us all join hands to give them those opportunities,” he added.Pointing out that it was the responsibility of the present generation to ensure the development of the next, the Chief Minister urged the visiting Punjabis to do their bit by making the youth aware of their duty. A real Sikh would always listen to the baani of the Guru, he said, calling upon the visitors to spread the `baani’ among their children, whichever part of the world they live in.
Seeking their help in rebuilding Punjab, the Chief Minister asked the prominent Punjabi personalities from around the world to become a part of the campaign to work together to restore the state, which had suffered a double partition, to its pristine glory. He pointed to the depleting ground water table to warn that, as per assessments, Punjab was likely to turn into a desert in the next 25 years. “We have to prevent this from happening,” he stressed, adding that the real tribute to Guru Nanak Dev Ji would be to preserve our natural resources for future generations and to make Punjab a clean, green and pollution-free state.Captain Amarinder also took note of the problem of environmental pollution, resulting from stubble burning, and urged all to collectively spread the message of the first Sikh Guru of `Pavan Guru, Pani Pita, Maata Dharat’. The practice of burning paddy straw was affecting the health of all people, including the farmers, of Punjab, he added.Noting the historic importance of the occasion which they were all part of, Captain Amarinder said his government had, in the past few weeks, organised 72 programmes to propagate the philosophy of Guru Nank Dev ji. He himself had the opportunity yesterday to go to Kartarpur Sahib, he recalled, adding that he would definitely try to visit the historic Gurdwara again, especially given his family’s old ties with the shrine.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister released a book ‘The Sikh Heritage Beyond Borders’, penned by Dalbir Singh Pannu, and a Persian book on the life and teachings of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji is written by an Iranian author. Earlier in his welcome address, Channi said that Punjab Government was taking great pride and honour in felicitating several eminent personalities from Punjab, India and abroad, who had brought laurels to the state in different areas through their rare feats. Giving details of the Chairs proposed by the state government, Channi said these would be established in Punjabi University, Patiala, IK Gujral PTU Jalandhar-Kapurthala, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Technical University, Bathinda, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, Chandigarh University, Gharuan, Chitkara University Rajpura, Akal University, Talwandi Sabo besides ITM University Gwalior, RDKF University, Bhopal, JIS University, West Bengal and University of Religion, Iran on international level. The Chief Minister expressed his appreciation for Tourism & Cultural Affairs Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and others who had worked hard to make the event a success. Besides Channi, others present at the function included Members of Parliament Manish Tiwari and Mohammad Sadique, CM’s Media Advisor Raveen Thukral, Advisor to CM Inderbir Singh Bolaria, MLAs Rana Gurjit Singh, Sushil Kumar Rinku, Navtej Singh Cheema, Sukhvinder Singh Danny, Raj Kumar Chabbewal and Brig Sukhjit Singh Kapurthala.