CHHAPAR CHIRI (MOHALI) , Sanjay Pahwa: The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today called upon the Punjabis to carve out an egalitarian and harmonious society on the model of socialism propagated by the legendary Sikh Warrior Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, who fought a decisive battle against the Mughal forces on the personal directions of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji in May 1710 to establish the ‘first Khalsa Raj’.
Addressing a mammoth gathering after dedicating the Baba Banda Singh Bahadur War Memorial to the humanity, Mr. Badal said that the great Sikh martyr Baba Banda Singh Bahandur was a true socialist who abolished the Jamindari system of land under the control of Mughals and made the tillers and cultivators, the actual owners of the land and issued coins and seals in the name of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji and Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji. He said: “People who forget their history are forgotten by history”.
Adding Mr. Badal pointed out he was dismayed that only half hearted efforts had been made in the past to preserve the rich legacy of one of the most glorious chapters in the history of mankind and the progress of the ideas which the founding of Sikh religion and subsequent Khalsa traditions represent. He said even the 90% of Sikhs were not aware of the heroic deeds in the Sikh history, what to talk of other communities in the country. He said that as a community, the Sikhs have been keener on making the history than preserving it and therefore, humble efforts were made by our government to set up symbols of our history and heritage as a part of the noble mission which we undertook from the day one after assuming office of SAD-BJP alliance government in 2007.
Dedication of historic Virasat-e-Khalsa at Sri Anandpur Sahib, Chhota Ghallughara at Kahnuwan Chhamb, Wadd Ghallughara at Kup Rohira and Baba Bandha Singh Bahadur War Memorial at Chhapar Chiri to the humanity was an outcome of our efforts with the blessings of Almighty and the great Gurus besides the unstinted support and cooperation of people across the globe, added Mr. Badal.
The Chief Minister said: “I am grateful to the God that the gigantic task of preserving the heritage of Sikhism and Khalsa Panth was assigned to me and the same had been completed with the blessings of Him and the enormous love and affection of the people”. He said he would be ever unable to repay the debt of the Akal Purkh (God) for bestowing countless blessings upon him and sought more blessings to give far more strength to spend his rest of life also in service of the mankind.
Slamming the opposition, Mr. Badal stated that cutting across the political affiliations, he extended personal invitation to the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to participate in the historic dedication ceremony of Virasat-e-Khalsa to the humanity and ardently wished to get this world class project inaugurated by an eminent Sikh personality of PM’s stature but he stayed away from the function for the reasons best known to him and it was a God sent opportunity for him to dedicate this memorial to the nation.
In his address, former BJP National President and Ex Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Mr. Rajnath Singh appreciated the tremendous contribution of Khalsa Panth in keeping the Hindu culture and Indian civilization intact. He said Sikh religion was replete with saga of unparalleled sacrifices which had been a source of inspiration for all of us to strengthen the ethos of patriotism, nationalism and communal harmony. Mr. Singh further said that the dignity and self respect must be maintained by everyone and Sikh religion has rightly preached this concept through the teachings of great gurus. He said that there was hardly any exaggeration in saying that Sikhs were the elder brothers to the Hindus, realizing the exemplary contribution of Khalsa panth in the enrichment of social values.
Mr. Rajnath Singh announced that he on behalf of BJP and the Punjab Chief Minister on SAD would mount pressure on the Prime Minister to include the history of these memorials in the contents of syllabus prescribed for various classes in the educational institutions. He said that atleast the chapters on these historic memorials must be included in the NCERT and CBSE text books so that our present generations must be made aware of rich legacy of Khalsa Panth. He also commended the role of the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister in erecting these memorials to showcase the rich religio-cultural heritage for our coming generations and hoped that it would also boost the tourism prospects in the state.
In his address Deputy Chief Minister and President of SAD Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal said that it was the endeavour of SAD-BJP
government to preserve the rich legacy of Sikhism and Khalsa Panth through these memorials in order to commemorate the supreme sacrifices of the martyrs who laid down their lives for the Sikh panth. He said: “Nations who forget their martyrs or heroes are bound to vanish with the passage of time”. He said that these memorials were a dream project of the Chief Minister which had been ultimately
cherished and accomplished by the grace of God within a record time period. He said: “I bow my head in reverence to the great saints, religious and spiritual leaders who had specially come from different parts of the state to grace the occasion”. He said that the Baba Fateh Singh, the great Grand Father of his mother Late Sardarni Surinder Kaur Badal, be headed Wazir Khan, the Subedar of Sirhind to avenge the martyrdom of the younger Sahibzadas of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji.
The Deputy Chief Minister further said that the Sikh history was
full of selfless sacrifices and this legacy of our great gurus and martyrs would ever be a source of inspiration for us. He appealed the youth to take a vow to abstain from the menace of drugs and apostasy (patit) as befitting tributes to our great Gurus, Saints, Seers and Martyrs.
Earlier, the Chief Minister honoured few eminent personalities associated with Baba Banda Singh War Memorial including Senior Vice President of L&T Mr. SN Roy, Architect Ms.Renu Khanna and Chief Engineer PWD (B&R) with a Shawl and a replica of Fateh Bhurj at the memorial site.
Later, Mr. Badal also laid the foundation stone of District Administrative Complex and Judicial Court Complex in Sector 76 to be constructed over an area of 7.25 and 7 acre at a cost of Rs.74 crore and Rs.51 crore respectively.
Prominent amongst others who were spoke on the occasion included Jathedar Sri Akal Takhat Sahib Giani Gurbachan Singh, Chief DamDami Taksal Mr. Harnam Singh Khalsa, Chief Buddha Dal Baba Balbir Singh, SGPC President Mr. Avtar Singh, former Chief Minister Uttrakhand Gen.(Retd.) BC Khanduri and former Army Chief and Governor Arunachal Pradesh General (Retd.) Mr.JJ Singh.
Those who were present on the occasion included Senior Akali Leader and former Union Minister Mr. Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, former Member Rajya Sabha Mr. Tarlochan Singh, Local Govt. Minister Mr. Tikshan Sud, Prof. Prem Singh Chandumajra and Mr. Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Mr. Maheshinder Singh Grewal ( SAD General Secretaries), Advisor to Chief Minister Dr. Daljeet Singh Cheema, Media Advisor to Chief Minister Mr. Harcharan Baind Jathedar Takhat Sri Keshgarh Sahib Sri Anandpur Sahib Giani Tarlochan Singh, former Minister and President Youth Akali Dal Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia, Irrigation Minister Mr. Janmeja Singh Sekhon, MP from Faridkot Bibi Gulshan Kaur, Tourism Minister Mr. Hira Singh Gabria, Member Rajya Sabha and Secretary General SAD Mr. Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Mr. Kirpal Singh Badungar and Bibi Jagir Kaur ( both former SGPC Presidents), Jathedar Tota Singh and Mr. Gurdev Singh Badal, Mr. Surjit Singh Rakhra (senior Akali leaders) Chairman Mandi Board Mr. Ajmer Singh Lakhowal besides representatives of the Sant Samaj, several party leaders and workers of SAD-BJP and members of the SGPC. Member Parliament from Canada Mr. Param Gill along with former MP Mr. Gurbax Singh Malhi and Ms. Ruby Dhall also attended the function.