Gurpurab celebrated with religious fervor, enthusiasm across J&K

People offering special prayers on ‘Prakash Utsav’ of Guru Nanak Dev Ji at Chand Nagar Gurdwara in Jammu on Saturday. —Excelsior/Rakesh
People offering special prayers on ‘Prakash Utsav’ of Guru Nanak Dev Ji at Chand Nagar Gurdwara in Jammu on Saturday. —Excelsior/Rakesh

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU/ SRINAGAR, Nov 4: The 548th Prakash Utsav (Gurpurab) of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj was celebrated with great religious fervour and enthusiasm across the State today.
In Jammu, a grand function  was organised at Gurdwara Yaadgar Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji at Chand Nagar, Lower Gumat today. Thousands of people from all faiths thronged the Gurdwara  and offered special prayers on the occasion of Gurpurab. The programme was jointly organised by State Gurdwara Prabhandhak Board and District Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (DGPC), Jammu.
The Gurdwara was highly decorated  by the management committee while devotees started arriving there since early morning to offer special prayers.
On this occasion, a resolution was  passed by the DGPC/ SGPB and Sikh Sangat  and was handed over to the Minister for Education, Altaf Bukhari for the consideration of State Government.
The main demands projected in the memorandum included  setting up of Minority  Commission in the State, rehabilitation of  displaced persons of 1947 from PoK and provision of Rs 30 lakh compensation and reservation of 4 Assembly seats for Sikhs, special employment package for Sikhs community members staying in Kashmir even after migration of minorities during 1989-90 and passage of Anand Marriage Act in State Assembly  to enable Sikhs  to register their marriage under Anand Karaj Act.
Ragi Jatha Bhai Jasbir Singh Ji, Hazoori Ragi Sri Darbar Sahib Amritsar, Pracharak Bhai King Pal Singh Kashmir, Dr Roop Singh, Secrertary, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee Amritsar, Punjab and local Ragi Jathas recited the Gurbani and threw light on the life,  history and teachings of great Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Dr Roop Singh delivered impressive lecture to the religious  gathering and appealed the community members to follow the path shown by the great Guru.
Minister for Education, Altaf Bukhari and BJP MLA, Jammu East Rajesh Gupta visited the Gurdwara and offered special prayers. They greeted the people on this occasion. The Minister also announced to make Punjabi language compulsory in schools along with other languages.
While extending his greetings, Bukhari said that religious co-existence, harmony, peace and progress form basic principle of way of life of all Sikh Gurus and Sikhism has presented a living example of excellent human values.
He  said that Guru Nanak Dev Ji was an apostle of truth, compassion and tolerance and his teachings would continue to inspire generations, leading them to the path of righteousness and brotherhood. He expressed hope that the occasion would further strengthen the bonds of brotherhood among the people and preserve communal harmony and secular traditions.
The Minister said that the Government would take all requisite steps to ensure equal opportunities for the socio-economic empowerment of the community.
TS Wazir, chairman State Gurdwara Prabandhak Board extended warm greetings to the people on the occasion of auspicious occasion of Gurpurab. He said that Guru Nanak’s teachings and universal message of love, peace, equality and brotherhood is not restricted to a particular caste , colour, creed, religion or region but transcends the barriers of time and space, thus making it relevant till eternity.
DGPC Jammu president, Jagjit Singh and general secretary, AS Khalsa also spoke on the occasion. Several other members of SGPB, DGPC and representatives from various Sikh bodies also attended the programme.
Similar, grand function was also held at Gurdwara Chatti Padshahi, Srinagar, where hundreds of devotees offered special prayers and celebrated Gurpurab with great religious fervour. The District Administration had made elaborate security arrangements on the occasion. DGPC Srinagar organised this  programme with great enthusiasm.
Prakash Utsav of Guru Nanak Dev Ji was also celebrated by DGPC, Poonch along with entire Sikh community  and people of other faiths, in presence of  Mahant  Manjit Singh Ji of  Dera Nangali Sahib, where Ragi Pracharaks and all the religious people marked their participation.
Mahant Manjit Singh stressed upon the community to adopt the path shown by Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj in every field of life and serve the poor and needy people in the society. He appealed the parents of Sikh youth to shun the use of drugs but to become ‘Amrit Dharis’ and to adopt the field of Education so that they can become  most responsible people.
Similar function was also held at Gurudwara Digiana Ashram Jammu where various Sikh organizations alongwith a large number of  community members   joined.
Sudershan Singh Wazir, president, Sikh United Front J&K and former president State Gurdwara Prabandhak Board  spoke on this occasion and said that Guru Nanak Dev Ji Maharaj made journeys in all parts of India.  Arabia and Persia including Mecca and Baghdad having discussed religious preachings for awakening the masses in order to know about God and Sikhism, empty religious rituals, caste system, sacrifices made by widows, studying books to know about having his permanent companions Bhai Bala, a Hindu and Bhai Mardana, a Muslim thereby, telling to be true Muslims and true Hindus.
A resolution was passed by the Sikh Sangat on this occasion projecting certain demands as mentioned above. Several Sikh community leaders supported the resolution. They included D S Wazir, Mohinder Singh, S S Kala and others.
Meanwhile, Gurupurab, the birthday of  Guru Nanak Dev Ji was also celebrated at Chhatti Padshahi Gurudwara, Baramulla and local RR Battalion with great zeal and religious fervour.
Baramulla Gurdwara,  is one of the oldest and most famous Gurudwaras in the State. It is not only a major tourist attraction of Baramulla but also an important place of worship for the Sikh community. It is believed that the sixth Guru of Sikhs who travelled throughout Kashmir also preached at Baramulla where Chhatti Padshahi Gurudwara has been built.
The main function was attended by Maj Gen RP Kalita, GOC Dagger Division along with senior Army and civil Government officials at Chhatti Padshahi Gurudwara. During the Prakash Utsav celebrations which were attended by locals in large numbers, GOC Dagger Division conveyed his greetings to every one and assured them that Army would continue to work tirelessly to bring peace and prosperity to the state and the country.
On this occasion, GOC also paid his obeisance at the Gurudwara of local RR unit where officials of civil administration and locals from all walks of life  and members of Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, Baramulla also joined.
Reports of celebrations of Gurpurab have also been received from  Kathua, Udhampur, Samba, Akhnoor, RS Pura, Rajouri, Nowshera, Reasi, Batote and  other parts of the State.


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