Punjab Chief Minster Prakash Singh Badal today said Sikh Gurus and saints in India gave a message of “secularism and socialism” by underlining that human beings belong to one race irrespective of various religions.
Badal, who was conferred the 14th saint Namdeo National award at the hands of his Maharashtra counterpart Devendra Fadnavis here, said, “the Gurus emphasised that all people belong to one human race and thus gave message of secularism and socialism.”
God is same and has different names in different religions but all people belong to one human race, he added.
Describing Saint Namdeo who was born in Maharashtra but travelled to Punjab 700 years ago to spread the message of “bhakti” (devotion to god) by chanting the name of God, Badal said the devotional songs of the saint are included in “Gurubani” in Guru Granth Sahib, the supreme scripture of Sikhism.
“What Guru Nanak said, the same thing is contained in Guru Namdeo’s compositions. If his message of love and devotion is followed, the shortcomings of our nation can be overcome.
The Gurus said that everyone should toil to earn one’s living and whatever is earned should be equally distributed,” he noted.
Badal said Maharashtra and Punjab had deep-rooted religious and emotional ties and Punjab government had instituted a chair in the name of saint Namdeo in the Guru Nanak university in Amritsar to study his verses.
A college named after saint Namdeo too was being raised at Ghuman in Punjab where he spent about 20 years after leaving Maharashtra, he added.
“I consider myself fortunate to have received the award instituted in memory of saint Namdeo,” Badal said.
Chief Minister Fadnavis described Badal as “Bhishma” of Indian politics who was on the side of “Pandavas”, saying he was an “inspiring personality”.
Historically, the Marathas and Sikhs always came together to fight the alien rulers and protect the country from invaders, he said, adding that both the states gave revolutionaries who sacrificed their lives during the freedom struggle against the Britishers.