Punjab CM invokes Guru Nanak's message of secularism

Punjab CM invokes Guru Nanak's message of secularism

The Punjab CM also stressed the need for conserving the depleting water table

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh talks to the media as he leaves after attending a high-level party meeting, chaired by Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi (unseen), at AICC HQ in New Delhi, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Invoking Sikhism founder Guru Nanak's Dev message of "na koi Hindu, na koi Musalman", Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh here on Sunday vowed to protect the country's secular fabric.

Addressing a function to mark the 71st Republic Day, the chief minister also vowed to protect one and all, irrespective of caste, creed and religion.

The CM in a press statement said he would "not allow the country's secular fabric to be destroyed at any cost".

"Secularism was the message of our guru, whose philosophy of 'na koi Hindu, na koi Musalman, sab rab ke bande' is imbued in our consciousness," said Singh.

"The foundation of our Constitution was based on secular and socialistic democracy," added Singh, stressing that this secular and socialistic structure strengthened the nation.

"There are some voices being raised in the country. Our Punjab Vidhan Sabha, a few days back, adopted a resolution which is now before the entire nation," he said without mentioning the Citizenship Amendment Act.

On January 17, the Punjab Vidhan Sabha had adopted by voice vote a resolution seeking the immediate repeal of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, the second state in the country to do so after Kerala.

Greeting people, Singh unfurled the Tricolour and also took a salute during a parade followed by a cultural extravaganza by schoolchildren.

The Republic Day celebrations in the state witnessed an inspiring display of skill by the Special Operations Group, constituted by the CM as an elite, specially trained force to combat terrorism, infiltration, hijacking and other sensitive threat situations.

During his address, Singh said Punjab was blessed by the historic opening of Kartarpur Corridor.

The state was also honoured to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary year of Guru Nanak Dev; the 399th birth anniversary of Guru Teg Bahadur; the 100th birth anniversary of Acharya Shri Mahapragya -- the 10th head of Svetambar Terapanth order of Jainism-- the 750th birth anniversary of Bhagat Namdev and the 350th birth anniversary of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, he said.

At the same time, he said his government would continue to work for the progress of Punjab, which had attracted investment to the tune of Rs 57,735 crore in the past over two years.

He said the efforts to bring in industry would continue in order to tackle unemployment, which he termed the biggest challenge faced by the state.

Under the "Ghar-Ghar Rozgar te Karobaar Scheme", 11 lakh jobs had been given to unemployed youth in the state by the state government, he claimed.

Singh announced that new medical colleges will be set up in Mohali, Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur.

The CM also underscored the importance given by his government to affordable health care through the Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana, covering 48 lakh families.

Over 1 lakh people have already availed free cashless treatment under the scheme, he added.

Terming the drug menace as an issue of grave concern, Singh said his government remained committed to the total elimination of the problem.

The special task force set up to tackle the menace had shown excellent results with as many as 34,373 cases registered so far under the NDPS Act, he said, adding that 42,571 people had been arrested with the recovery of 974 of kg heroin.

Over one lakh addicts are being treated at the 193 out patient opioid assisted treatment centres established by the government, the CM said.

He hoped that the Punjab Water Resources (Management and Regulation) Act will help address the problem in a big way.

Amarinder Singh also announced a series of welfare and development initiatives for Mohali district, including an integrated waste management system for the disposal of waste, a new sewage treatment Plant and an industrial training institute at Kharar.