The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that he salute the valour, commitment and contribution of Sikhs to the humanity especially in the contemporary tempestuous times of mistrust, prejudice and intolerance. He was addressing the gathering after releasing the book ‘Prominent Sikhs of India’, authored by Dr. Prabhleen Singh and published by Paunjab University, here today.
The Vice President said that the Book highlights the achievements of 50 living Sikh legends from various walks of life and it is a fitting tribute to the founder of Sikhism Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
The Vice President said that Guru Nanak Ji had made immense contribution to this great nation with his commitment to serve the poorest of the poor, irrespective of cast creed and religion. He had laid foundation to build a society whose primary duty lies in serving the people and participating in nation-building, he said. Sikhs have always shielded the nation whenever the need arose, he added.
The Vice President said that India’s economy is growing at a much faster rate than many major economies of the world as he called for united efforts face challenges existing in the growth trajectory. We need to convert them into opportunities and take steps to sustain the momentum, he said. Here our youth, who constitute around 65 per cent of our population can act as the agents of change and lead the nation to new heights, he added.
The Vice President said that the youth must draw inspiration from the life and stories of great leaders who have made their mark. It is our essential duty to motivate the youth to stay put in the nation and contribute to development, he added.
The Vice President stressed the need to impart employable skills in youth realise their power and achieve the demographic dividend adding that such efforts instill confidence in youth and encourage them to make good use of the reform agenda of the nation and take part in developmental process. Our youth must move in a direction where they can become job creators instead of job seekers, he said.
More than 100 distinguished Sikhs and others were present on the occasion.
Following is the text of Vice President’s address:
“I am delighted to launch the book titled ‘Prominent Sikhs of India’, authored by Dr. Prabhleen Singh here at the Sardar Patel Conference Hall today.
I happy that a young doctor, Prabhleen Singh has put in good efforts to bring out the stories of valor, service and hard work of 50 great Sikhs and publishing the book on the occasion to commemorate the 550th birth celebrations of the first Guru of Sikhs, Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Guru Nanak Ji, the founder of Sikhism had made immense contribution to this great nation with his commitment to serve the poorest of the poor, irrespective of cast creed and religion. He had laid foundation to build a society whose primary duty lies in serving the people and participating in nation-building.
गुरु नानक जी के विचार, उपदेश, शिक्षाएं और शिष्यों तथा अनुयायियों के साथ उनके प्रवचन “केयर एंड शेयर” अर्थात “सबकी चिंता करना और प्रत्येक वस्तु/विचार साझा करना” की भारतीय दर्शन की मूल भावना को दर्शाते हैं। वे दयालुता की प्रतिमूर्ति थे और उन्होने लाखों लोगों को अपने निःस्वार्थ प्रेम, शांति और सार्वभौमिक भाईचारे के संदेश से प्रेरित किया।
ईश्वर के साथ उनके साक्षात्कार के बाद उनका प्रथम संदेश यही था कि “कोई हिंदू नहीं है, न ही कोई मुसलमान है।” उन्होंने यह भी स्पष्ट किया कि उनकी प्राथमिक रुचि किसी भी आध्यात्मिक सिद्धांत को स्थापित करने में नहीं बल्कि उनकी चिंता मानव और उसकी नियति में निहित थी। इसका अर्थ है जैसा प्यार तुम स्वयं से करते हो वैसा ही तुम अपने पड़ोसी से करो।
– कीरत करो, अर्थात कोई भी कार्य ईमानदारी और लगन से करो।
– नाम जपो, अर्थात ईश्वर का नाम जपो, और उस ईश्वर का सतत स्मरण करो जिसने आपको श्रम और सेवा की शक्ति दी है।
– वाद छको अर्थात जो ज़रूरतमंद है, अक्षम है उसके साथ अपना भोजन साझा करो।
उनके इस महान सार्वभौमिक संदेश से प्रेरणा लेकर विश्व भर में लाखों सिख मतावलंबी जरूरतमंदों की सहायता कर रहे हैं। मैंने स्वयं देश के विभिन्न भागों में गुरुद्वारों में की जा रही सेवा को देखा है और यह सेवा निस्संदेह वास्तव मैं अनुकरणीय और प्रेरणास्पद हैं।
Indian history is witness to the fact that Sikhs have always shielded the nation whenever the need arose. Carrying the rich Sikh heritage and legacy in the modern times, the Sikhs continue to serve in different fields across the world with distinction and through their dedication, commitment and philanthropy.
The book I have just released highlights the lives of 50 distinguished Sikhs of India who have contributed significantly to the development of the nation and asserted their Sikh identity to the world in a very positive light.
In my view, this literary piece is a celebration and a salute to the highest summits of professional excellence and social responsibility attainted by these exemplary Sikhs of India.
It carries the motivational success stories and messages for the youth from these icons. I am sure that it will serve as an inspiration to the youth of today and make them to emulate the qualities of the great men.
Highlighting the achievements of these living Sikh legends from various walks of life, the author presented the life of these esteemed personalities very crisply, conveying a hope to excel, and instilling confidence in the readers to aspire and bring about a change.
The book is step towards enlightening the world about Sikhs and their proactive contribution to the humanity especially in the contemporary tempestuous times of mistrust, prejudice and intolerance.
I would like to once again compliment the author for compiling inspiration stories of 50 esteemed living Sikh personalities who have made their mark nationally and internationally.
To name a few – Dr Manmohan Singh, the former Prime Minister of India, Dynamic Ministers in the present government Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Shri Hardeep Puri & Shri SS Ahluwalia, Well-known Bureaucrat and former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Ace athlete and the flying Sikh Shri Milkha Singh, Cricketer Bishen Singh Bedi, Poet Surjit Patar and many more.
The writer has highlighted the pressing issue of brain drain or migration of young to abroad. By writing the inspiring, thought provoking stories of prominent Sikhs the author is aiming to motivate the youth to stay put in the nation and contribute to development.
Dear Friends, we are living at a time when India is undergoing a major transformation. Steps are being taken by the Government to empower youth and make them self reliant. We are moving in a direction where youth can become job creators instead of job seekers.
Schemes such as Make in India, Digital India, and Skill India are taking the shape of mass movement. Our economy is growing at a much faster rate than many major economies of the world. World Bank in its 2018 Report has noted that India’s GDP growth is projected to reach 6.7 percent in 2017-18 and accelerate to 7.3 percent and 7.5 percent in 2018-19 and 2019- 20 respectively.
However, we have certain challenges and we need to convert them into opportunities and take steps to sustain the momentum. Here our youth, who constitute around 65 per cent of our population can act as the agents of change and lead the nation to new heights.
To realise this huge youth power and achieve the demographic dividend, we must train our youth with employable skills. We must empower them to understand and make good use of the reform agenda of the nation.
I am sure, this book will inspire and instil confidence in youth and encourage them to take the lead in scripting the country’s growth story
My compliments once again to Dr. Prabhleen Singh and publisher -Punjab University, Chandigarh for bringing out the stories of great men and women!
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