K S Raju Legal Trust to move UN to recognize genocide of Hindus and Sikhs, Kerala Governor, Chief Minister Punjab, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Addl Chief Secretary Tamil Nadu Dr Jagmohan Raju, and filmmaker Harvinder Sikka address
K S Raju Legal Trust organized a virtual session to celebrate the 400th birth anniversary of the 9th Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur ji.
Speakers from three different religious backgrounds addressed the webinar including Governor of Kerala Shri Arif Mohammad Khan, Art of Living founder Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh.
In his opening remarks the moderator of the session, Dr Jagmohan Singh Raju, Additional Chief Secretary, Govt of Tamil Nadu lamented that UN has conveniently ignored the genocide perpetrated on the Indian populace over centuries ignoring acts of violence against non-Abrahamic religions like Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism.
He also appealed to commemorate Guru Tegh Bahadur’s martyrdom day as a ‘Day of Commemoration in memory of the Hindu and Sikh victims of Genocide and Holocaust.
All the speakers referred to Guru Tegh Bahadur’s martyrdom a unique example in the world when he stood against the oppressors to condemn forcible religious conversion and persecution of people from a different religious beliefs.
Shri Arif Mohammad Khan, Governor of Kerala in his presidential remarks referred to Guruji’s sacrifice which epitomized the values that the Sikhism has imbibed over the centuries believing in the oneness of mankind.
Quoting extensively from Guru Granth Saheb, Vedas and Indian ethos that have been time and again proven by the Sikhs through their acts and firm belief in ‘sarbat da bhala’, Kerala’s governor recalled how Sikhs with miniscule presence in the state rallied from across the country and abroad to help the flood victims last year.
What better way to demonstrate the religious tolerance and oneness can be better displayed when the foundation stone of the world’s most sacred place of Sikhs, the Golden temple, was laid by a person of different religious denomination.
Capt. Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab, recalled the long association his family had with the Gurus who visited Patiala, a legacy that is being carried forward by renovating all those places where Gurus visited under the “Charan Chho” project.
He informed that nearly 103 such places in Punjab have been identified which are not only being preserved to keep the future generations in touch with their great heritage and the values that Sikh Gurus promoted, besides undertaking a massive forestation efforts as part of celebrations with planting of 60 lakh saplings under current anniversary celebrations of Guru Tegh Bahadur and 75 lakh were planted earlier during Guru Nanak Dev’s 500th celebrations.
Guru Saheb stood for secularism and he was a universally acknowledged spiritual leader and was rightly called, ‘Hind di chaddar’, he said.
His government is preparing several programmes to commemorate the occasion which had to be postponed because of the pandemic and once the situation eases our endeavour is to spread the message across the globe, Capt Amarinder Singh said.
Besides renovating the jail in Bassi Pathana where Guru sahib were imprisoned, his universal message of one humanity and religious freedom shall continue to be promoted.
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar began his address with “Waheguru ji ki khalsa, waheguru ji ki fateh”, and said that Guru Tegh Bahadur taught a powerful message to the world that you should not forsake those who believe in you.
The exemplary role that Sikhs have always played during any crisis is reflection of the teachings of the great gurus that they have imbibed into their lives, Sri Sri said. They have learnt the lesson that as human you cannot be a back-bencher or shy away from one’s responsibility as a human to help those in need, to stand up and act.
And the greatest truth, Gurudev said, is not to be carried away ever by the arrogance and pride of power, but stay humbled and standup for truth.
Later, reputed filmmaker of “Nanak Shah Faqir” and “Raazi”, Harvinder Singh Sikka, in his expression of gratitude considered the opportunity as a Divine gift for being a part of such discussions which revealed many unknown facets of Sikh history, including Maharaja of Patiala’s interaction with the Sikh Gurus that need to be documented and shared.
Sikhism, more than a religion, began and still is, a way of life, remarked Harvinder Sikka.