Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the period of history in India in the last four centuries cannot be imagined without the influence of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru.
The Prime Minister was speaking during a meeting of the High-Level Committee (HLC) to commemorate the 400th birth anniversary of the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur (Prakash Purab), via video conferencing that was chaired by him. “In the last four centuries, there no period of India that we can imagine without the influence of Guru Teg Bahadur ji! As the ninth Guru, we all get inspiration from him,” he said.
On April 1, the birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur is commemorated. He is best known for protecting Sikhs and Hindus from a 17th-century law that forced them to convert to Islam. He is known for making long journeys across the country to preach Guru Nanak’s teachings in places like Kashmir and Assam. After refusing to follow Islam, he was executed in the city of Delhi on the orders of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Guru Gobind Singh, the Sikhs’ last Guru, turned the tribe into a martial race in order to defeat the Mughals’ might.
“From Guru Nanak Dev Ji to Guru Teg Bahadur Ji and then Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tradition of Sikh Guru is a complete life philosophy in itself,” the PM added. The Prime Minister said that Indians must take the life and teachings of Guru Tegbahadur ji as well as the entire Guru tradition to the world.
Besides the Prime Minister and the Home Minister, former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh along with Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh also participated in the virtual meeting.
According to an official release, the HLC was constituted by the Union Government on October 24, 2020, to approve policies, plans and programs related to the commemoration of the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur along with supervision of the events.
Guru Tegh Bahadur
He was the leader of the followers of Sikhism from 1665 until his beheading in 1675. Bahadur was the 9th Guru, and was the son of the sixth and father of the 10th and final Sikh Guru.
From Britanica: “Tegh Bahādur ran afoul of the Mughal authorities by giving aid and shelter to some Hindu holy men from Kashmir ..Aurangzeb, his patience at an end, ordered the Guru to embrace Islam or perform a miracle. The emperor promised great rewards if Tegh Bahādur did either, but death if the Guru refused. Rejecting earthly honours and maintaining he did not fear death, Tegh Bahādur refused both options. Accepting the death sentence, the Guru recited the “Japjī ”(the most important Sikh scripture) and was decapitated in one blow by the executioner.”