Sri Anandpur Sahib witnessed a sea of pilgrims from 17th to 19th June, across the globe to mark the 350th anniversary celebrations. The town, referred as the ‘city of bliss’, was founded in 1665 by ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur. It is also where the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, established the ‘Khalsa’ in 1699, giving a special identity to Sikhs.
The ninth guru who founded this holy town was an epitome of socialism and secularism as he sacrificed his life for the sake of preserving human rights in the country. The life and philosophy of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur is indeed a lighthouse for all us.
A magnificent display of horse riding and martial art skills such as “Gatka” by thousands of Nihangs marked the 350th foundation day function at Charan Ganga Stadium.
One of the main features of the 350th anniversary celebrations was the 81 feet high “Khanda” made of stainless steel and installed at Panj Piara Park in Sri Anandpur Sahib. It instantly became a hit on social media. Dedicating the ‘Khanda’ to the masses, Chief Minister, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal said that it was symbolic to the glorious legacy and rich cultural heritage of Sri Anandpur Sahib. Recalling the immense significance of ‘Khanda’ in the annals of Sikh history, he said that its installation would be a humble tribute to the great philosophy of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji. Mr. Badal said that ‘Khanda’ symbolizes the eternal spirit of universal brotherhood, courage and valour against the tyranny, oppression and injustice.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by Union Food Processing Minister Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who gave a clarion call to stop discrimination against girls. She said that elimination of gender discrimination would go a long way in shaping a healthy society and nation. Recalling the role played by women to safeguard and strengthening of Sikh Panth, Mrs. Badal said that we all should learn a lesson from the lives of those brave women who had served as forerunners in protecting the rights and interests of women. She also called upon the women fraternity to make Mai Bhago their ideal to combat social menaces.
Welcoming the Sangat thronged from across the globe to participate in 350th years of foundation day, Mrs. Badal said that our Gurus had made peerless sacrifices against the tyranny of the then rulers and we have a big responsibility to fulfill the dreams dreamt by our Gurus. Mrs. Badal also thanked Punjab Government and all religious institutions for celebrating this mega event on such a large scale.
During the occasion, the Chief Minister felicitated the Union Home Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh, Governor Chattisgarh Mr. Balram Ji Dass Tandon, Chief Minister Haryana Mr. Manohar Lal Khattar, Union Minister of state Mr. Vijay Sampla and BJP National President Mr. Amit Shah with a momento, a shawl and a sword.
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal said the establishment of Sri Anandpur Sahib marked the spread of the message of peace and universal brotherhood besides the need to oppose tyranny and injustice. He said that Punjabis had always acted in the path shown by the great Gurus and that they had remained forerunners in all struggles whether against the Mughals, British regime or the fight for Sikh causes.
Government of Punjab has staunchly believes in the concept of ‘unite and rule’ as this helps promote the message of peace and harmony. Sri Anandpur Sahib has always been a source of energy, enlightenment and peace. We believe that the unparalleled sacrifices made by great Sikh gurus would guide the destiny of people by proving to be a beacon for them. We hope the historic celebrations help in promoting the ethos of secularism, communal harmony and brotherhood in the country.