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Explained: What Haryana plans to celebrate Guru Tegh Bahadur’s birth anniversary

Explained: What Haryana plans to celebrate Guru Tegh Bahadur’s birth anniversary

Haryana is scheduled to go to Assembly polls in October 2024. However, the government has said that it has no political agenda, and that its aim is only to spread awareness.

The BJP-JJP coalition government in Haryana has planned a series of events to mark the 401st birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru. The BJP, which faced the wrath of the farmer community during the year-long agitation against the now-repealed farm laws, is leaving no stone unturned to placate Sikhs, who make up a sizeable chunk of the population in several parts of the state, including Karnal, the constituency of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, and Ambala Cantonment, which is represented by Home Minister Anil Vij.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to give an address from the Red Fort later on Thursday (April 21), and the BJP in Haryana has said “it would want to commemorate the Sikh Gurus’ supreme sacrifice and ensure that their message of humanity reaches every nook and corner of the country”.

Haryana is scheduled to go to Assembly polls in October 2024. However, the government has said that it has no political agenda, and that its aim is only to spread awareness.

Guru Tegh Bahadur and Haryana

According to Chief Minister Khattar, “All the 10 Sikh Gurus have a special bond with Haryana as they have travelled to Kurukshetra and Lohgarh. Today, it is our utmost duty to propagate the teachings, ideologies, and philosophies of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur ji and other religious gurus and saints in society, especially among the youth.”

Khattar said, “Guru Tegh Bahadur ji reached the land of Jind from village Khatkar. Guru Sahib got many wells and ponds constructed in this area. The magnificent Gurdwara Sahib is established in the memory of Guru Sahib in the city of Jind. Guru Tegh Bahadur ji stayed in village Lakhan Majra in Rohtak district. He preached in the Rohtak area even while coming back from Assam for the second time. There is a place in the memory of Guru Sahib in Rohtak city named Mai Sahib. Here in Babar Mohalla, Gurudwara Sahib has been established in the memory of Guru Sahib.”

The CM recalled that Guru Tegh Bahadur had walked from Cheeka to Kaithal city, where he preached Naam Bani to the sangat. “According to the wishes of Guru Sahib Bhai Roda Badi in Kaithal city, Sri Tegh Bahadur ji stayed at his house for a few days. Here, Guru Sahib Ji used to hold diwan in the mornings and evenings… Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji had also come to Kaithal’s village Garhi Nazir…”

Khattar has also spoken of Guru Tegh Bahadur’s visits to Ajrana Kalan (Kurukshetra), Harnaul, Budiyand, other villages in Yamunanagar, Ladwa (Kurukshetra), Jagadhari, Bhanokhedi, Langar Chhanni, and Lakhnaur Sahib (Ambala). According to state officials, more than 30 gurdwaras were either set up by Guru Tegh Bahadur or were established at places associated with him in Haryana.

State-level function

The “state-level 400th Prakash Purab celebrations of Hindi Ki Chadar Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji” will be held in Panipat on April 24. A team comprising Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Sandeep Singh, Karnal MP Sanjay Bhatia, and Additional Principal Secretary to the CM Amit Aggarwal have brought holy water from the Golden Temple for the programme.

“Holy water brought from Golden Temple shall be given to the sangat (people) attending the programme. Arrangements have been made for round-the-clock ‘Guru ka langar’, with adequate seating arrangement in more than 60 acres of open space,” Bhatia said.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann is among the top invitees for the programme. World famous Ragi and Dhadi Jatha will be attending the programme. Major leaders of the Sikh Samaj, religious figures, the SGPC president, and important Jathedars from across the country have also been invited.

Senior officials told The Indian Express there was no specific historical reason for choosing Panipat as the venue. “It is just that in the past few years, similar programmes have been held in Karnal, Sirsa, Yamunanagar, and Kaithal. This time, the Chief Minister wanted that a different city should be chosen. Panipat was selected considering it is kind of a central point and we can organise it on a large scale in terms of logistics, parking, etc.,” a senior officer said.

Officials said the government will not spend much on the event, except for certain logistics. “A substantial portion of the money incurred on the event is being spent by social and religious organisations. For instance, food is being taken care of by over 25 socio-religious organisations. The government is merely acting as a facilitator. The government’s main aim is to highlighting the sacrifice of Guru Tegh Bahadur ji and making today’s generation aware about our cultural heritage,” a senior officer said.

©Indian Express

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