Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh!!!
Joining us in this holy program of Gurpurab is the Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Bhupendra Bhai Patel ji, Speaker of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly Sister Neema Acharya ji, President of the National Commission for Minorities Shri Iqbal Singh, Member of Parliament Shri Vinodbhai Chavda ji, president of the Lakhpat Gurudwara Management Committee Rajubhai, Shri Jagtar Singh Gill ji, all the dignitaries present there, all the public representatives and all the faithful friends! Wishing you all a very Happy Gurpurab!
It is my good fortune that I have got an opportunity to seek blessings from Lakhpat Sahib on this holy day. I bow at the feet of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and all the Gurus for this grace.
Gurudwara Lakhpat Sahib has been a witness to every movement of time. Today as I connect with this holy place, I am reminded of a number of storms experienced by Lakhpat Sahib in the past. Once upon a time, this place was a major center for the movement of people and trade to other countries. That is why Guru Nanak Dev Ji came here. Guru Nanak Dev Ji stayed here for a few days during the Fourth Udasi (preaching tour). But over time, this city became deserted. The ocean left it. The Sindh river also turned its back. Gurudwara Lakhpat Sahib suffered a lot in the 1998 cyclone. And who can forget the 2001 earthquake? It had caused immense damages to the 200-year-old building of Gurudwara Sahib. But still, our Gurudwara Lakhpat Sahib stands tall with the same glory.
I have many precious memories associated with this Gurudwara. After the 2001 earthquake, I had the privilege of serving this holy place. I remember the craftsmen and artisans came from different parts of the country and preserved the original glory of this place. Gurbani (compositions of Sikh Gurus) was inscribed on the walls here with the ancient writing style. This project was also honored by UNESCO.
I have been getting the opportunity to serve my Gurus continuously even after I moved to Delhi from Gujarat. 2016-17 was the holy occasion of 350 years of Prakash Utsav of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. We celebrated it with full devotion in the country and abroad. The Government of India enthusiastically organized events on the completion of 550 years of the Prakash Parv of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in 2019. Efforts were made at every level to spread the messages of Guru Nanak Dev ji to the entire world with new energy. In 2019, our government completed the construction of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor which was awaited for decades. And now in 2021, we are celebrating 400 years of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji's Prakash Utsav.
You must have seen that recently we were successful in bringing the copies of Guru Granth Sahib from Afghanistan to India. What can be a greater experience of Guru's grace than this? Just a few months ago, when I went to America, we were able to bring back more than 150 historical items which were stolen from India. It includes a dagger on which the name of Guru Hargobind Singh is written in Persian. Our government was fortunate to bring it back.
I remember the 700-bed modern hospital built in Jamnagar two years ago is also named after Guru Gobind Singh ji. And our Chief Minister Bhupendra Bhai was also describing it in detail. It has always been a matter of pride for Gujarat that of the ‘Panj Pyare’ (the five beloved ones) who played an important role in the establishment of the Khalsa Panth, the fourth Guru Sikh, Bhai Mohkam Singh ji, was from Gujarat. Gurudwara Bet Dwarka Bhai Mohkam Singh has been built in his memory in the Devbhumi Dwarka. I have been told that the Government of Gujarat is fully cooperating and providing financial assistance in the development works of Lakhpat Sahib Gurudwara and Gurudwara Bet Dwarka.
Guru Nanak Dev ji has said –
गुर परसादि रतनु हरि लाभै,
मिटे अगिआन होई उजिआरा॥
That is, it is through the offerings of the Guru that God is attained, and the light spreads after the demolition of the ego. Our Sikh Gurus have always worked to charge the Indian society with this light. Imagine, when Guru Nanak Dev Ji had incarnated in our country, what was the condition of the society at that time? It was battling with all the irony and stereotypes? External attacks and atrocities were shattering the morale of India at that time. India, which used to guide the world materially and spiritually, was itself in trouble. In view of these circumstances, what would have happened if Guru Nanak Dev Ji had not spread his light during that period? Guru Nanak Dev ji and other Gurus after him not only kept the consciousness of India ignited, but also carved out a way to keep India safe. When the country was weakening over the issues of caste and creed, then Guru Nanak Dev Ji had said-
''जाणहु जोति न पूछहु जाती, आगे जात न हे''।
That is, see the light of God in everybody and recognize it. Don't ask anyone's caste. No one is identified by caste, nor does anyone have any caste in the journey after life. Similarly, Guru Arjun Dev Ji weaved the good thoughts of the saints and connected the entire country with the thread of unity. Guru Har Krishan Ji linked faith with the identity of India. The path shown by him to humanity by curing the sick at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib in Delhi remains an inspiration for every Sikh and every Indian. The way our Gurudwaras took up the responsibility of service during the difficult times of Corona is a symbol of Guru Sahib's grace and his ideals. In a way, every Guru in his own time led the country as it was needed and guided our generations.
The contribution of our Gurus is not limited only to the society and spirituality, but if today our nation, the faith and integrity of our nation is safe, then at its core is the great penance of the Sikh Gurus. When foreign invaders wielding swords were trying to grab the power and wealth of India, then Guru Nanak Dev Ji had said-
पाप की जंझ लै काबलहु धाइआ, जोरी मंगै दानु वे लालो।
That is, Babur has come from Kabul with the sword of sin and oppression, and is demanding the daughter of the regime of India with a lot of oppression. This was the clarity and vision of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He also said-
खुरासान खसमाना कीआ हिंदुसतान डराइआ ॥
That is, after capturing Khorasan, Babur is scaring India. He further said:
एती मार पई करलाणे तैं की दरदु न आइआ।
That is, so much atrocity was taking place at that time and people were screaming. So, our Sikh Gurus who followed Guru Nanak Dev Ji did not hesitate to lay down their lives for the country and religion. At present, the country is celebrating the 400th Prakash Utsav of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji. His entire life is an example of the determination of 'nation first'. Just as Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji stood firm in his conviction towards humanity, it shows us the glimpse of the soul of India. The manner in which the country gave him the title of 'Hind ki Chadar' shows us the attachment of every Indian towards the Sikh tradition. Guru Tegh Bahadur's valor and sacrifice against Aurangzeb teaches us how the country fights against terror and religious fanaticism.
Similarly, the life of the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, is also a living example of tenacity and sacrifice. The tenth guru sacrificed everything for the nation, for the basic ideas of the nation. Two of his sons, Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh, were buried alive inside a brick wall by the invaders. But Guru Gobind Singh Ji did not compromise with the pride and glory of the country. We still observe the martyrdom week in the memory of the sacrifice of his four sons, which is on now.
Even after the tenth Guru, the tradition of sacrifice continued in the Sikh community. Veer Baba Banda Singh Bahadur shook the roots of the most powerful empire of his time. Thousands of Sikh warriors sacrificed to prevent the invasion of Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali. The way Maharaja Ranjit Singh brought alive the strength and heritage of the country from Punjab to Banaras is also recorded in the pages of history. The valor with which our Sikh brothers and sisters fought for the country's independence even under British rule, our freedom struggle, that land of Jallianwala Bagh is a witness to those sacrifices even today. This is a tradition in which our Gurus breathed their lives centuries ago, and it is still as awake and conscious.
This is the period of Amrit Mahotsav of freedom. Today, when the country is taking inspiration from its past, from its freedom struggle, the ideals of our Gurus become even more important for us. In the ongoing efforts and the resolutions of the country are the same dreams which the country has been waiting to see fulfilled for centuries. The way Guru Nanak Dev Ji taught us the lesson of humanity, the country is moving ahead on the mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, and Sabka Vishwas'. With this mantra today, the country is making 'Sabka Prayas' (collective efforts) its strength. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Kutch to Kohima, the entire country is dreaming together, striving for their fulfillment together. Today the mantra of the country is - 'Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat' (One India, Supreme India).
Today the goal of the country is -- the revival of a new capable India. Today the policy of the country is -- service to every poor, priority to every deprived. Even during the difficult times of Corona, the country tried that no poor should sleep hungry. Today, every part of the country is getting the benefit of every effort, every scheme, equally. The accomplishment of these efforts will make India strong and fulfill the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of everyone that no one can bring harm to our dreams and to the unity of the country in such critical times. Let us all unite to fulfill the dreams for which our Gurus lived, the dreams for which they spent their life; unity among us is very essential. The dangers that our Gurus used to warn the country against exist in the same form today. That's why we have to remain alert and also protect the country.
I have full faith that with the blessings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, we will be able to fulfill our aspirations and the country will reach a new height. Lastly, I would also like to urge the devotees who have come to visit Lakhpat Sahib. Presently, Rann Festival is going on in Kutch. You must also take out time and go to the Rann Festival.
Kutchchh and the people of Kutchchh live in my heart.
How are you my Kutchchhii brothers and sisters? Right now it is getting cold in Kutch like Delhi and Punjab, isn't it? Well, take care of yourself and your family during cold weather. But, Kutchchh and the people of Kutchchh live in my heart so wherever I go, I can't stay without remembering Kutchchh, that is your love. well, I will meet you whenever I will come to Kutchchh. To all of you my good wishes, Ram Ram. Stay safe.
In the last one-and-a-half months, more than one lakh tourists have visited the Rann Festival to enjoy the panoramic views of Kutch and the open skies. When there is willpower and people's efforts are involved, then how the land can be transformed has been shown by my hardworking people of Kutch. There was a time when the people of Kutch used to go all over the world for livelihood; today people from all over the world are getting attracted towards Kutch. Recently, Dholavira has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As a result, tourism will get a boost there. The Government of Gujarat has now developed a grand tent city there as well. This will increase the convenience of the tourists. Now the construction of a new road from Dhordo to Dholavira in the middle of the Rann is also progressing at a fast pace. Very soon, it will be very easy to travel from Bhuj and West Kutch to Khadir and Dholavira extension. It will benefit the people of Kutch, entrepreneurs and tourists. The construction of Renewable Energy Park at Khavda is also going on at a rapid pace. Earlier, one had to go via Bhachau-Rapar to reach Dholavira from West Kutch and Bhuj. Now you can go directly from Khavda to Dholavira. With the new route, it will be easier to visit Narayan Sarovar, Koteshwar, Mata No Madh, Haji Pir, Dhordo Tent City and Dholavira.
Today is also the birth anniversary of our revered Atal ji. Atal ji had a special affection for Kutch. Atal ji’s government stood shoulder to shoulder with Gujarat in the development works done here after the earthquake. Today Atal ji must be very happy and satisfied with the path of progress of Kutch. I am sure that the blessings of all our dignitaries and revered people will remain with Kutch. Once again a very Happy Gurpurab to all of you and many best wishes!
Thanks a lot!