To mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the Centre on Monday announced a slew of measures, including the installation of a high-powered telescope along the India-Pakistan border for devotees to view Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan’s Punjab, one of the holiest shrines for Sikhs.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT will install a high-powered telescope in India for the devotees to view Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, while the Railways Ministry will run a train, which will pass through places associated with the Sikh guru, a Home Ministry statement said.
The issue of Kartarpur Sahib came into focus after Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu visited Pakistan in August to attend the oath-taking ceremony of his cricketer-turned-politician friend Imran Khan as prime minister of that country.
After his return, Mr Sidhu claimed that Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa had told him that Pakistan may open a corridor to Kartarpur Sahib, which is located just across the International Border in Punjab.
Kartarpur Sahib is the final resting place of Guru Nanak. The National Implementation Committee, chaired by Rajnath Singh, also launched events, including the release of commemorative coin and postage stamps.
Following this, it was decided that the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev will be commemorated through a series of activities, commencing in November, throughout the country and across the globe, the statement said.
Sultanpur Lodhi, where Guru Nanak spent much of his life, will be developed as a heritage city, also incorporating Pind Babe Nanak Da, by the Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs in collaboration with the Punjab government. The Railways Ministry will upgrade the Sultanpur Lodhi railway station with modern amenities.
A national institute of inter-faith studies will be set up by the Human Resource Development Ministry for which the Punjab government will provide land free of cost. A chair on Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji will be set up by the ministry in one university each in the UK and Canada.
Culture Ministry will organise an international seminar on the life and teachings of the Sikh guru will be organised in New Delhi. Doordarshan will arrange live telecast programme on Guru Nanak Dev and the Gurubani.
Publication of Gurbani in different Indian languages will be made by National Book Trust (NBT) and the HRD Ministry. The UNESCO will be requested to translate and publish anthology of Guru Nanak Dev’s writings in world languages, the statement said.