PM Modi leads tributes to Guru Tegh Bahadur
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said whenever the country was in danger, fighters such as Guru Tegh Bahadur stood steadfast against tyrannical forces. “When we think about health, about development, India comes on top because personalities like Guru Tegh Bahadur have led us.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday paid tributes to the sacrifices made by Guru Tegh Bahadur and other Sikh Gurus to highlight how their legacy inspires India to think of the well being of the entire world.
“The gurus taught us to take pride in our achievements,” Modi said during a commemorative event at the Red Fort on the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur.
“The country’s progress is imperative, for which we need everyone’s efforts. When we celebrate 100 years of independence a new India will be before us. We have to sacrifice ourselves for India’s success,” he said.
The PM paid homage to the Guru by launching a coin and a postage stamp.
Modi said whenever the country was in danger, fighters such as Guru Tegh Bahadur stood steadfast against tyrannical forces. “When we think about health, about development, India comes on top because personalities like Guru Tegh Bahadur have led us.”
“Our country is progressing today because it follows the path that the Gurus have laid for us. Wherever we are, it is because of our freedom fighters who have ensured that democracy can exist in India,” he said.
The PM asserted that India is not only a country, but a legacy, and a tradition. Lauding Guru Tegh Bahadur, he said that the country owes him for his ultimate sacrifice. “He was Hind ki Chadar (the quilt of Hindustan), he fought for our rights and challenged many rulers who sought to violate them,” Modi said.
Born on 21 April, 1621, Guru Tegh Bahadur was sent to his execution by beheading on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb on 16 November, 1675. “From the place where this fatwa (order) of execution was declared, is where this government has chosen to celebrate the Guru’s life,” Union home minister Amit Shah said on Wednesday.
India has never posed a threat to any country or society and it thinks for the welfare of the entire world even today amid global conflicts, Modi said, adding that the Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib near the Red Fort stands as a symbol of the immortal sacrifice of Guru Tegh Bahadur.
“This holy gurdwara reminds us how great was the sacrifice of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji to protect our great culture. At that time there was a storm of religious fanaticism in the country. India, which considered religion as a matter of philosophy, science and self-reflection, was facing people who had committed violence and atrocities in the name of religion,” he said.
At that time, there was a great hope for India to save its identity in the form of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the PM noted.
The Red Fort is witness that Aurangzeb and tyrants like him might have beheaded many but our faith could not be separated from us, the Prime Minister said. The sacrifice of Guru Tegh Bahadur inspired many generations of India to live and die to protect the dignity of their culture, for its honour and respect, he said.
Big powers have disappeared, big storms have calmed down, but India still stands immortal and is moving ahead, Modi asserted.
“India has never posed a threat to any country or society. Even today we think for the welfare of the whole world. When we talk about a self-reliant India, we keep the progress of the whole world in mind,” he said.
The programme was focussed on highlighting the teachings of the ninth Sikh Guru who sacrificed his life to protect religion and human values, ideals and principles.
Guru Tegh Bahadur’s death anniversary is commemorated as Shaheedi Divas on November 24 every year.
Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib, built at the spot where he was beheaded, and Gurdwara Rakab Ganj, the site of his cremation, in Delhi are associated with his sacrifice. This legacy serves as a great unifying force for the nation, Modi said.
The event also saw performances by 400 Sikh musicians and a langar service was held.
(With PTI inputs)