'All Indian missions and embassies abroad will celebrate Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary to spread his message of universal brotherhood and peace', announced India's External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj.
The year 2019 will mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the first Sikh Guru and the founder of the faith.
And in preparation of the mammoth occasion, the Indian government has already kick started the preparations for the celebrations, which will stretch across the globe for over a year, informed External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj.
The minister also said that all Indian missions and embassies abroad will celebrate Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary through seminars and ‘kirtans’ (hymn recitals) to spread Guru Nanak’s message of universal brotherhood and peace in these “turbulent” times.
"In this turbulent world, where violence and killings are prevalent, where people are being massacred in the name of religion, through this anniversary celebration, we want to spread the message of Guru Nanak and other Sikh Gurus in the world,” said Mrs Swaraj.
The World Punjabi Organisation- an international body of Punjabis comprising representatives from various fields have been called in to partner with the government to carry through the year-long celebrations.
The External Affairs Ministry has also declared that the birth anniversary of the spiritual thinker and arguably one of the greatest religious innovators of all times will be celebrated as the ‘Universal Brotherhood Year!’
Meanwhile, in the northern state of Punjab, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has set-up three panels to oversee arrangements for the celebrations which will be responsible for the development of infrastructure at holy places and supervising the religious and cultural events.
Earlier, Mr Singh had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking approx. 4 billion in financial assistance for the celebrations.