Guru Nanak Dev’s message of universal brotherhood and equality is cherished globally and echoes across the United Nations, India’s Ambassador to the world body Syed Akbaruddin has said on the occasion of the first Sikh Guru’s 550th birth anniversary. A Kirtan and Langar hosted by India’s mission to the UN on the occasion brought together people of different faiths and background. “There are so many different words we could use to describe Guru Nanak ji – revolutionary, prophet, social reformer, equal rights advocate, visionary, founder, leader. Yet labels fail to account for who he was as a person and the impact that he had – and that he continues to have – on the world around him,” Akbaruddin said as he addressed guests and devotees at India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Tuesday for a special commemorative event on Guru Nanak Jayanti.
Akbaruddin said Guru Nanak’s commitment to universal brotherhood, love, humility, simplicity, equality and tolerance serving the world around him, especially the less fortunate; “his recognition that all people, whatever their social background, are equal and deserving of respect and opportunities; his willingness and ability to challenge social norms; and his focus on building healthier and stronger communities are all values that are today cherished globally and echoed today in different ways at the UN.”
It is on account of such reverence for the Sikh Guru that the UN has avoided holding formal meetings on Gurpurab, acknowledging the significance of the occasion, the Indian envoy told the gathering at the sombre commemoration. On the occasion, a ‘Shabad Kirtan’ was rendered by Kirtankars Jash Preet Singh Bal, Arun Badhan and Sarvjeet Singh from Gurudwara Baba Makhan Shah Lubana Sikh Centre. The Kirtan, which focussed on the teachings and message of Guru Nanak, was followed by a Langar, which epitomizes the Guru’s life-long teachings of selfless service. Akbaruddin, Deputy Permanent Representative K. Nagaraj Naidu and diplomats and officers from the Indian mission served food to the guests and devotees at the Langar. “The privilege of serving….Is an honour to cherish….,” Akbaruddin later tweeted on serving food at the Langar.