CHANDIGARH: The Punjab government urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday to declare the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak as national tolerance day, citing the Sikhism founder's message of love and compassion.
In a letter to Modi, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said: "Since the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev are as relevant today as they were in his times, the 550th 'Parkash Utsav' of Guru Nanak Dev, to be observed on November 12 this year, should be declared as National Tolerance Day as a befitting tribute to the great master".
Singh suggested that the birth anniversary of the first Sikh Guru be observed in this manner every year thereafter, according to a statement.
The chief minister pointed out that Guru Nanak travelled far and wide during his lifetime, spreading the message of inclusion and tolerance. Besides, Singh said, Guru Nanak set up a unique spiritual and social platform based on equality, fraternal love, goodness and virtue.
Highlighting the fundamental beliefs of Sikhism, Singh mentioned "sarbat da bhala' (welfare of all)", as articulated by Guru Nanak, which includes equality of mankind, engaging in selfless service and striving for social justice for the benefit and prosperity of all.
The Guru was an epitome of love, compassion and tolerance, Singh added.