The webinar was organized by the Maharishi Valmik Chair at Punjabi University in Patiala as a continuation of the one-year celebrations marking the 400th birthday of the ninth Sikh Guru Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib ji.
However, some Sikh scholars believed that the ninth Sikh guru should not be viewed from the prism of national borders since Guru Teg Bahadur Ji had been martyred while respecting human rights.
The former IAS Gurtej Singh said: “It was the martyrdom of the guru and not a victim. The guru does not care about one country or another, but about humanity and universal goodness. The guru is not specific to a place. The university has reached low standards by restricting Guru Teg Bahadur ji to the Indian nation. It shouldn’t confuse people. ”
Another Sikh scholar, Bhai Ashok Singh Baghdia, said Guru Teg Bahadur protected human rights and sent a message to the whole world. He said the guru cannot be rejected on a national border.
The head of the study department at Shri Guru Granth Sahib, Prof. Sarbjinder Singh, who was part of the webinar, said the Sikh religion did not accept a monochromatic color state. “Our gurus have always firmly believed in multicolored shades of our country, in which flowers of all kinds, which symbolize all religions, thrive in our country. Guru Tegh Bahadur ji sacrificed his life to honor this kind of world and gave us a clear message that shades of all colors have an equal chance of thriving in Hindustan. ”
He added that Shri Guru Granth Sahib wears the anthems of six Sikh gurus. He said there was room for 30 other chosen people of ultimate reality or divine people with different nationalities, castes, religions, geographical areas and different cultures.
The university’s VC, Prof. BS Ghuman, said that we are very proud that our university is so close to the place that has the honor to be a visiting place of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib. Prof. Ghuman said that the sacrifice and teachings of our great guru form the basis of our country’s national integration. Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji gave an example to fight for religious freedom and to respect all religions. His teachings were a guiding principle for all of us. When we see how the Sikh community serves people around the world in this difficult time of COVID-19, we see that it is because our gurus have taught us how to serve humanity. Prof. Ghuman added that there is also a great need in a multicultural society to follow the teachings of our Great Gurus.
Satnam Singh Sandhu, Dean of the Language Faculty and Incharge, Valmik Chairman, gave an inaugural speech on the concept of the webinar. He said that the purpose of selecting the three prominent speakers from three different religious backgrounds for this webinar was to highlight various aspects of the life and teachings of Guru Sahib.
Pawan Kumar Singla, Punjab Information Commissioner, said Guru Sahib was a great thinker of his time. “He worked a lot for the oppressed parts of society. By sacrificing himself to achieve religious freedom for the Hindus, the guru set an example in the area of human rights. ”
Jamshid Ali Khan, former Dean of Punjabi University, said that Guru Sahib’s philosophy is relevant for all time and shows us the righteous path. His philosophy teaches us how to rise above the religious divide.