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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

CM Badal bats for communal harmony

HT correspondent, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, February 15, 2013
First Published: 22:46 IST(15/2/2013) | Last Updated: 23:38 IST(15/2/2013)

Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday paid tributes to Namdhari Movement founder Satguru Ram Singh on his 197th birth anniversary at a state-level function at Bhaini Sahib here.

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Addressing a gathering, Badal announced that the state government would plan a major function to mark the 200th birth anniversary of Satguru Ram Singh and shortly convene a meeting of renowned Sikh scholars and intellectuals to seek their views for the mega event in 2016.

Remembering the role of Satguru Ram Singh during the freedom struggle of the country, the chief minister said that sacrifices made by Kuka martyrs would continue to inspire people. He said Kukas were among the first to use non-cooperation as a political weapon against the British successfully. “This idea inspired many national leaders,” he said.

Badal said that to bring in social change, Namdharis, under the leadership Satguru Ram Singh, had launched a drive to eradicate social evils from society. The chief minister called for people to pay tribute to the Namdhari Movement founder leader by rising above discrimination on the basis of caste, colour and creed. “We need to strengthen the bonds of communal harmony, universal brotherhood in the form of a selfless society as propagated by him”.

He added that the SAD-BJP government was committed to maintaining peace and amity in the state on the same principle. The CM said the state government had earlier persuaded the Centre to include the Kuka Namdhari Movement of 1871 and Jallianwala Bagh Massacre 1919 as part of national freedom movements.

He also said that the state government had planned to set up Jang-e-Azaadi Memorial at Kartarpur near Jalandhar to showcase the sacrifices made by Punjabis in the national freedom struggle. “A special section dedicated to Namdhari Martyrs would also be established there,” he said.

Later, Badal said the state government had initiated an ambitious programme of cleaning of the Sutlej, Beas and Ghaggar rivers. “Steps have been taken to ensure zero discharge of industrial effluents, sewage and slush into these rivers. We have also initiated work to set up sewage treatment plants in major towns and cities of the state,” he said, “The project will be completed in two years.”

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