All the esteemed members of the committee and colleagues! The occasion of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji's 400th Prakash Purab (birth anniversary) is a spiritual privilege as well as a national duty. It is the grace of Guru on all of us that we can contribute something in this regard. I am happy that we are taking all the citizens of the country along while undertaking these efforts.
Being the chairman of the National Implementation Committee, the Home Minister has presented before us the suggestions which came forward and views of the committee. The presentation is a flexible framework of the full year's action plan and there is room for a lot of improvement and new ideas. Invaluable and fundamental suggestions have also been received from the members. It is true that this is a great opportunity and we should take advantage of it to take the basic thoughts of our country to the people at the international level. I am sure that a large number of the honorable members who did not get the opportunity to express their views will send their suggestions in writing so that this event can be fine tuned with a better action plan.
No period in the last four centuries can be imagined without the influence of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji. As the ninth guru, we all get inspiration from him. You all are familiar with the stages of his life, but it is equally important for the new generation of the country to know and understand him.
Our Sikh Guru tradition starting with Guru Nanak Dev ji to Guru Tegh Bahadur ji and finally Guru Gobind Singh ji has been a complete philosophy of life in itself. It is the privilege of our government that we got the opportunity to celebrate the 550th Prakash Purab of Guru Nanak Dev ji, the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji and the 350th Prakash Purab of Guru Gobind Singh ji. The whole world can easily understand the significance of life by following the lives of our Gurus. There was the highest sacrifice in their lives as well as endurance. There was also the light of knowledge in their lives, and there was spiritual stature also.
Guru Tegh Bahadur ji has said: "सुखु दुखु दोनो सम करि जानै अउरु मानु अपमाना" i.e., we must live our lives in the same way in happiness and sorrow and in honour and humiliation. He has also shown the purposes of life. He has shown us the path of service to the nation as well as to the service of life. He has given us the mantra of equality, harmony and renunciation. It is the duty of all of us to live these mantras ourselves and to spread them to the people.
As discussed here, the 400th Prakash Purab should be held throughout the year in the country and we should try to reach out to the maximum number of people in the world also. All the pilgrimage centres and places of faith associated with the Sikh tradition will give more energy to these activities. Guru Tegh Bahadur ji's ‘shabads’, his psalms, the literature and cultural programmes associated with him will inspire the people. With the use of digital technology, these messages will be easily accessible to the new generation all over the world. I am happy that today most members have suggested the maximum use of digital technology, which is also a portrait of the changing India. We have to connect as many people as we can in all these efforts.
We should use this event to take the life and teachings of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji as well as the entire Guru tradition to the world. We will be able to inspire humanity greatly if we can take the messages to the whole world regarding how the Sikh community and millions of followers of our gurus are following in their footsteps, how Sikhs are performing great social service and how our gurudwaras are the conscious centres of human service. I would like that it should be researched and documented. These efforts will also guide the future generations. It will be our tributes at the feet of all the Gurus, including Guru Tegh Bahadur ji, and in a way, a true service. It is also paramount that at this important time, the country is also celebrating the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence, the 75 years of our independence. I am sure we will definitely succeed in every event with the blessings of the Gurus. I am very grateful to you for all your noble suggestions and your active cooperation in the times to come will contribute immensely in taking this great tradition to our future generations. It is our pride that we have had the privilege of serving the gurus on this auspicious festival.
With these good wishes, thank you all very much!