Chandigarh March 13,
The department of English and Cultural Studies,Panjab University, Chandigarh in collaboration with the organising committee, constituted for celebrating the 550th birth anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak DevJi, conducted a lecture on the Relevance of the Message of Guru Nanak in the Digital Age, here today.
Prof. Karamjit Singh, Registrar, PU remarked how in current times of social inequality and distress, spreading the Guru’s message is ever more important. The basis of his message is to spread happiness, remove inequality and become awakened through regular reading of the Gurbani.
Mr.Rupinder Singh,primary speaker and senior associate editor with The Tribune, proceeded his lecture by establishing the revolutionary nature of Guru Nanak via his secular statements, challenges to existing religious order and promotion of religious harmony. At the time of Guru Nanak, sangat, pangat, and langar were established by the Guru as focal points for the framework of Sikhism. He forgave those who were intolerant and put them on the path of a pious life through ethical living and recitation of God’s name. In opposing the caste system, Mr. Singh expressed how the precursors of gurudwaras, dharamsals, were pivotal in using hunger as a leveller to overcome the unwillingness of the public to eat with lower castes. He reminded the members of the survival of langar or community kitchen at Sikh Day Parades, war zones, etc. He concluded his presentation with a summation of the digital presence of the Sikh community with aesthetic websites on Sikh culture and heritage such as SikhNet.com and SikhChic.com.
Mr. Singh’s words were significant to establish the applicability of the Guru’s teachings in the contemporary world. After his talk, there was a question and answer session. Research scholars raised important questions on how to imbibe Guru Nanak’s teachings in everyday life. Mr. Singh observed that by taking small steps of reading, understanding and practicing such teachings one can take inspiration from the Guru’s life.
Distinguished guests present were Prof. B. N. Goswami, professor emeritus, Prof. Deepti Gupta, the chairperson of the department, Prof. Sukhwinder Singh as well as faculty members and research scholars from different universities.