Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has announced the establishment of a chair in the name of Bhakti Saint Baba Namdev at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, to disseminate the teachings and the philosophy of the Maharastrian saint, who had made this Gurdaspur village his home for 20 years before his death in the 14th century.
In town to pay homage to the saint during the three-day Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan (ABMSS) in memory of the saint that began in the town on Friday, the CM, along with union transport Nitin Gadkari and former union minister Sharad Pawar laid the foundation stone of Baba Namdev Government Degree College in the town.
The Rs 18-crore college, to be constructed over 10 acres, would impart education in science and arts. The leaders also release a souvenir on the life and philosophy of Sant Namdev.
Reiterating the shared history of Maharasthra and Punjab, Badal said the 10th Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh breathed his last at Takht Sri Hazur Sahib (Nanded) in Maharashtra.
Union transport minister Gadkari announced the construction of a 157-km four-lane cemented road from Amritsar to Una in Himachal Pradesh via Mehta, Ghuman, Tanda and Hoshiarpur at a cost of Rs 1,800 crore.
“Sant Namdev’s contribution towards redeeming the mankind from the social maladies and agonies suffered by them due to worldly possessions, will always inspire humanity. I invite the Punjab government to organise such an event for the promotion of Punjabi language, literature and art at Nagpur,” said Gadkari.
Former union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar appreciated the personal initiative shown by the CM in the organisation of the state-level function. “This will build friendship between people of Punjab and Maharashtra,” he said.
The president of 88th Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, Sadanand More, thanked the dignitaries and said residents of both states were brave and spiritual.
Those present included union minister for state Vijay Sampla, Punjab education minister Dr Daljit Singh Cheema and chief parliamentary secretary Des Raj Dhugga.
6,000 Marathas are new flavour of Ghuman village
The historic Gurdaspur village seemed like a taluka in Maharashtra on Friday as over 6,000 Marathas converged at Ghuman to be a part of 88th All-India Marathi Sahitya Samelan, which started at the local Government High School.
The event pays homage to Sant Namdev, who had spent the last 20 years of his life at this village, after leaving Maharashtra in the 13th century.
The program started with the flag hoisting ceremony by Dr Madhavi Vaidya, president of the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Mahamandal.
Later, thousands of devotees of Sant Namdev organised a massive procession which started from Gurdwara Shri Namdev Darbar and passed through various markets of the town and finally reached the Government School grounds, where a cultural program was held.
For devotees who reached Beas and Tanda through two special trains, the district administration had provided free transportation facility. Special caterers were called from Maharashtra to prepare food for community kitchen.
Namdev Bakari, a resident of Nasik, told HT that he and his family members had been attending the Marathi Samelan from the last six years. Sarhad, an NGO, which runs many educational institutions in various cities of Maharashtra, is the main organiser.
Nagpur resident dies of cardiac arrest
A Maratha visitor Arvind Kulkarni, 76, a resident of Lakhtesh Apartment near Shiv Mandir, 18-Ajnipur, Nagpur (Maharashtra) died reportedly of cardiac arrest at Ghuman village of Gurdaspur district at 8.30am on Friday. He had come to attend the festival.
Another visitor Gundopant, 62, resident of Vijan Karnangi under police station Talku Hath Trangle, district Kohlepur, Maharashtra, had a cardiac arrest and was admitted to the Ghuman Community Hospital where his condition was stated to be stable.