Monday December 10, 2018
Home Indian Diaspora White House c...

White House celebrates Guru Nanak birth anniversary

0
//
Republish
Reprint

Washington: The White House celebrated the birth anniversary of Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak on Tuesday with top aides of President Barack Obama assuring the community of his full support.

“President Obama stands with, he stands behind you and he stands in solidarity with you. And we all have a responsibility to remind Americans what makes us great” Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett told a gathering of the Sikh community from across the US.

The programme opened with Jesse Moore, Associate Director of Public Engagement, welcoming the guests. This was followed by a Sikh hymn performed by Manpreet Singh and Raghubir Singh from New Jersey on classical instruments like taus, dilruba and Jodi.

When Jarrett greeted the gathering saying “Happy Gurpurab” a room full of Sikh men, women, and children cheered and clapped, according to a media release.

Dr Rajwant Singh, Chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, said, “The Sikh community is grateful for the powerful and supportive words of President Obama’s team today.”

“This sends an assuring signal to the entire community that this nation stands behind it,” he said.

Valerie Jarrett was given a Phulkari shawl, a typical Punjabi speciality, and a book on Sikh heritage and ethos as she was honoured by Sikh representatives from Sikh Coalition, Sikh Council on Religion and Education and United Sikhs.

Vanita Gupta, principal deputy assistant attorney general, said: “We at the Justice department continue to use all of the tools available to combat any violence or hate against the Sikh community.”

In his keynote address, Amritjit Singh of Ohio University discussed “Guru Nanak: Equality and Social Justice”.

“Guru Nanak’s message has special resonance for us today where fear and ignorance are giving rise to hatred, violence, and intolerance,” he said. “The Guru had a sharp eye for the patterns of hypocrisy, intolerance and exploitation.”

Nikki-Gurinder Kaur Singh of Colby College said the legacy of Guru Nanak empowered young Sikhs “with an identity which is equally American and Sikh.”

“It is a profound symbol of our being together and it expresses that we are Americans no matter what complexion or religion we may be.”(IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

Sikhism in Pakistan: Recalling the Forgotten Treasures of Sikh Heritage

In the Sikh religion, any place where a guru resides or stops by is said to become a sacred place

0
Shikh pilgrims arriving in Pakistan. (Representational Image). Image source: dawn.com
  • In the Sikh religion, any place where a guru resides or stops by is said to become a sacred place
  • The religious and cultural history of all gurudwaras around the world are believed to be constructs of miracles or preachings of the Gurus
  • Gurudwaras Chota Nankiana, Patshahi Panjvin, and others have been disastrous results of either continuous exploitation by emperors or national tensions

Sikhism is one delicate bond that holds the two nation- India and Pakistan together, with nearly the same amount of followers on both sides of the border and across the world. While Pakistan is the birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev and holds one of the holiest pilgrimage of Sikhism- Sri Nankana Sahib, the article throws light upon some of the gurudwaras that hold immense significance for the community, yet are forgotten treasures of the Sikh heritage.

Gurudwara Chota Nankiana, Distt Lahore Source: www.sikhiwiki.org
Gurudwara Chota Nankiana, Distt Lahore. Source: www.sikhiwiki.org

Manga (Pakistan) is a centuries-old town and is the last district of Lahore on the way to Multan. In Lahore’s district of Manga lies a Gurudwara (the Sikh place of worship), burnt down to rubble with only its outer structure still intact. This is the Gurudwara associated with Guru Nanak, the founder and first Guru of Sikhism, said the Scroll.in article.

Around 35 km from the city of Lahore is Gurudwara Chota Nankiana Sahib, which also holds the significance of Guru Hargobind Ji staying here on his return from Nankana Sahib. While 50 acres of this area is land revenue exempted, the building itself is a hollow for it was burnt down during the Partition. It is believed that a few Sikh believers refused to come out of the Gurudwara, and as a result, it was burnt down by the mob.

Follow NewsGram on facebook: NewsGram

However, the building area is now in possession of Late Justice Maulvi Mushtaq who built Aligarh Public school here, and the pond of this gurudwara is now with Pakistan’s Department of Fisheries.

In the Sikh religion, any place where a guru resides or stops by is said to become a sacred place. One of the most significant transboundary is river Ravi, once used to flow through the western boundary of Manga.

The first Sikh Guru, along with his companions Mardana and Bhai Bala, once crossed river Ravi and took a halt at Manga for a while. He would preach wherever he stayed and this is how Gurudwara Chota Nankiana Sahib was later built. The religious and cultural history of all gurudwaras around the world are believed to be constructs of miracles or preachings of the Gurus.

Gurudwara Patshahi Panjvin, Beherwal Source: www.worldgurudwaras.com
Gurudwara Patshahi Panjvin, Beherwal
Source: www.worldgurudwaras.com

Few kilometres farther Manga is the village of Beherwal, which is home to Gurudwara Patshahi Panjvin (Panjvin means ‘fifth’ and Patshah refers to Guru). This was immortalised in the name of the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev.

Legend has it that Guru Arjan Dev stopped by this small village on the Lahore-Multan road and requested a disciple to get him some water. The disciple said that the well’s water was brackish and he needed to go to the village to bring water for him. Then the guru performed a miracle that is now a government institute. He turned the well’s water from brackish to sweet by miracle and still exists in Beherwal.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter: @newsgram1

Gurudwaras Chota Nankiana, Patshahi Panjvin, and many others like these have been disastrous results of either continuous exploitation by emperors or national tensions. It is indeed an alarming situation to rise up and preserve these precious and holy shrines and maintain Sikhism as a non-discriminatory non-institutionalised religion that it is.

-This article is compiled by a staff-writer at NewsGram.

ALSO READ: