Ravi S Singh
New Delhi, April 19
Prominent Sikh personalities from across the country are expected to attend the two-day event at the historic Red Fort here, starting Wednesday, to mark the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru.
The Centre has invited prominent Sikh personalities, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to attend the commemorative event being organised by it.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address the nation from the Red Fort on April 21, the second day of the event.
Sources said the invitees include Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann and his predecessors Parkash Singh Badal and Capt Amarinder Singh. Heads of the five Sikh Takhts, former and sitting MPs and MLAs from the community, head of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat Gurcharan Singh Gill, former Chairman of National Commission of Minorities Tarlochan Singh,heads of other institutions like the SGPC, and other notable persons from different walks of life to have been identified.
Sources said although the celebratory event is happening under the aegis of the Union Culture Ministry, the Prime Minister Office (PMO) is coordinating and overlooking theminutiae of the planning and preparations. The Union Home Ministry is also understood to be in the loop.
A top source said a list of a total of 12,000 participants has been drawn. The number could increase. This includes about 250 prominent persons.
Another salient feature of the eventwill be the performance of 400 “ragis” who will assemble at the Red Fort from across the country.
Also, a team has been drafted to perform “Gatka” at the Red Fort ground to highlight the martial art heritage of the Sikhs.
Meanwhile, Padma Bhushan Tarlochan Singh has welcomed the Centre’s move to celebrate an event relating to the Sikh Guru at Red Fort.
“This is the first time that the Government of India has bestowed such an honour to the Sikh communityby taking an initiative to celebrate the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadurat a place of national and international importance.
He appealed to all leaders of the community, especially religious leaders, to come together to laud the efforts of the Centre and make the event a success.
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