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Guru Nanak Dev one of India's most democratic spiritual leaders:Naidu

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday described Guru Nanak Dev as one of India's most democratic spiritual leaders and said a new world of peace and sustainable development can be found if teachings of the first Sikh Guru are integrated in daily lives.

At a special commemorative session of the Punjab Assembly to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, Naidu said the guru's vision was timeless and, "hasas much relevance today as it was when it was expounded five centuries ago.

Naidu, who started his address in Punjabi, said he was happyto attend the special session and also praised Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana KP Singh and Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for taking an initiative to organise the event.

Besides Punjab MLAs, MPs, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and MLAs and MPs of neighbouring state also attended this special event.

It is for the first time after the carving of Haryana out of Punjab in 1966that MLAs of both Punjab and Haryana sat together in the Punjab Assembly for this special event.

"It is quite appropriate that this temple of democracy is dedicating a special session to one of India's most democratic spiritual leaders, said Naidu in his address.

Guru Nanak ji belongs to the long illustrious tradition of India's visionary spiritual leaders who have illumined human existence and greatly enriched the country's cultural capital, said Naidu.

He said Guru Nanakji saw what ordinary people could not.

They enrich people's lives through their insights and ideas. Infact, that is the meaning of the word 'Guru'. Guru is one who provides illumination, dispels doubts and shows the path, he said adding for the first Sikh Guru, the differences and multiple identities based on caste, creed, religion and language were irrelevant.

Our world view has been continually broadened by timeless messages of enlightened pathfinders like Guru

Nanakji.We, as democratic political leaders, and even as common citizens, have so much to learn from teachings of this great personality.

"If we can internalise and integrate these messages in our daily lives and reshape our thinking and actions, we can certainly discover a new world of peace and sustainable development, asserted Naidu.

He said respect for women and gender equality was another important lesson to be learnt fromGuru Nanak Dev's life.

This spirit of equality began with Guru Nanak Dev's clear recognition that there is no distinction between a Hindu and 'Mussalman'. For him, no country was foreign and no people were alien, said the Vice President.

He said it was worth noting that Guru Nanak initiated inter-faith dialogue way back in the 16thcentury AD and had conversations with most of the religious denominations of his times.

The world needs such spiritual leaders, who can engage in a meaningful dialogue to exchange ideas in order to promote peace, stability and cooperation, said Naidu.

Naidu also said that Guru Nanak Dev insisted that one should earn one's living by hard work.

Work, worship and share(kirt karo, Nam japo and wand chhako)was the motto he placed before his disciples. Earn by honest labour and share the earnings with the needy, said Naidu.

He further impressed upon legislators to set an example as to how they can serve the people according to principles enunciated by Guru Nanak Dev.

Expressing happiness over setting up of the Kartarpur corridor, Naidu said he was sure it would be a corridor to the shrine of peace, harmony and humanism, to the universal vision of a world as one family, to the sublime ideal of service to humanity.

The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan'sKartarpur--the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev--with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district in Punjab.

I am very happy that the corridor that connects us to Kartarpur, the sacred space where he spent the last 18 years of his life is going to be opened in a couple of days from now, he said.

Before the start of the programme, some Punjab MLAs even performed 'ardas' (prayer) in the House. An audio clip of recitation of 'Satnam Waheguru' was also played in the House.