On 22 November 2018, the Union Cabinet of India, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has passed a Resolution to celebrate the 550th Birth Anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Devji, which falls next year, throughout the country and across the globe, in a grand and befitting manner along with State Governments and the Indian Missions abroad.
The following are the highlights of the decisions taken in the Cabinet meeting:
Development of Kartarpur Sahib corridor:
The Union Cabinet approved the building and development of the Kartarpur corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district to the international border, in order to facilitate pilgrims from India to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur on the banks of the Ravi river, in Pakistan, where Shri Guru Nanak Devji spent eighteen years. The Kartarpur corridor will be implemented as an integrated development project with Government of India funding, to provide smooth and easy passage, with all the modern amenities. Government of Pakistan will be urged to recognize the sentiments of the Sikh community and to develop a corridor with suitable facilities in their territory as well.
Development of Sultanpur Lodhi:
The Union Cabinet also decided that the historic town of Sultanpur Lodhi, associated with the life of Shri Guru Nanak Devji, shall be developed as a heritage town and on the Smart City principles, including energy efficiency, to highlight Shri Guru Nanak Devji’s emphasis on sustainability and reverence for nature. As a major attraction for pilgrims and tourists, a heritage complex at Sultanpur Lodhi, “Pind Babe Nanak da” will be established to depict life in the times of Shri Guru Nanak Devji. Sultanpur Lodhi railway station will be upgraded and developed with all the modern amenities.
Centre for inter faith studies and Chairs in foreign Universities:
A centre for inter faith studies will be set up at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. Chairs on Shri Guru Nanak Devji will be set up in a University in UK and Canada. An International seminar on the life and teachings of Shri Guru Nanak Devji will be organised in New Delhi.
Celebrations throughout the country and globally:
States/Union Territories will also be requested to celebrate 550th Birth Anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Devji in a befitting manner. Indian missions overseas will organize special events on the occasion.
Commemorative coin and stamps:
Commemorative coin and postage stamps will be released by the Government of India to mark this momentous occasion.
Religious activities and publications:
Religious activities will be organised throughout the country. Doordarshan will telecast programmes on Shri Guru Nanak Devji and the Gurubani. National Book Trust will publish Gurbani in different Indian languages. UNESCO will be requested to publish Shri Guru Nanak Devji’s writings in world languages.
Special train for pilgrims:
Ministry of Railways will run a train passing through the various holy places associated with Shri Guru Nanak Devji, for pilgrims and tourists.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, on the occasion of 549th Birth Anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Devji, shared his thoughts on the Sikh Guru and urged all to imbibe his teachings. PM Modi said “Shri Guru Nanak Devji cared for the welfare of all mankind and considered all castes the same. He stressed on women empowerment and respect for women. Opening of Kartarpur corridor is from blessing of Gurunanak Devi ji. Each and every word of Gurbani will give us more strength,” said the Indian Prime Minister.