To commemorate the 200th Birth Anniversary of Sikh philosopher, reformer and freedom fighter , Sri Satguru Ram Singhji, an International Seminar was inaugurated by the Minister of State for Culture (I/c), Dr Mahesh Sharma in New Delhi today. The seminar was organised by the Union Ministry of Culture in collaboration with Panjab University, Chandigarh and Kuka Martyrs Memorial Trust. The function was attended by His Holiness Sri Satguru Uday Singhji; MP Lok Sabha, Sardar Prem Singh Chandumajra; Ex-MP, Rajya Sabha, Sh Avinash Rai Khanna; Ex-MP Rajya Sabha Sardar Tarlochan Singh ; Ex-MP Rajya Sabha Sardar H S Hanspal and Vice Chairman KMMT & President Vishav Namdhari Sangat, Sardar Surinder Singh Namdhari in addition to a large congregation of followers of Satguru.
Speaking on the occasion , Dr Mahesh Sharma said that Sri Satguru Ram Singh was a great spiritual guru, a thinker, a seer, philosopher, social reformer, and a freedom fighter. Around 150 years ago, he organized the Indians for the noble cause of total freedom of country and mankind. The Culture Minister said that whatever he was preaching or practicing in 19th Century, is equally good in 21st century as well.
Praising the ideology of the Satguru, Dr Mahesh Sharma said that he advocated reverence for the cow, simple wedding ceremonies, widow remarriage and mass marriages with minimal expenditure. His contribution to freedom struggle was also commendable and he undertook the first revolt against the British. The Culture Minister further added that it was this Government which has decided to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singhji, 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singhji, 100 years of Jallianwallan Bagh Massacre and the 200th birth anniversary of Sri Satguru Ram Singhji.
The Minister further added that the government will ensure that celebrations to pay tribute to Sri Satguru Ram Singhji are held every twenty five years in the future to make the coming generations aware of the greatness of the Satguru.
The birth (Prakash) of Satguru Ram Singhji took place in 1816 in village Raiyan in district of Ludhiana in Punjab. He spearheaded the Namdhari sect to free the country. He started Kuka Movement to free the country a month before the Mutiny of 1857. Satguru Ram Sigh Ji advocated boycott of the British merchandise and services.
The Satguru was a great social reformer and preached against killing the girl child in infancy and stood firmly against the Sati Pratha and urged people to remarry the widow to maintain her status in the society.
He started a new mass marriage system wherein the marriages were performed by spending a rupee and twenty five paisa only. The dowry was totally banned in any shape. Satguru Ram Singh inculcated the religious awareness among the people because it evokes the feeling of self-respect and sacrifices for the sake of the country.