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President pays obeisance at Golden Temple
August 31, 2004 14:34 IST
President A P J Abdul Kalam on Tuesday paid obeisance at the Golden Temple in Amritsar and said the Guru Granth Sahib was the greatest treasure of mankind.
"It is a scripture of inter-faith dialogue and repository of India's collective spiritual heritage as it contains hymns by great gurus and saints from different religions and faiths," he said at the quadri-centennial celebrations of the installation of the holy scripture.
The message of love, humanism, equality and co-existence is the essence of this great scripture, which is of special relevance in today's world.
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal presented a robe-of-honour and a kirpan (ceremonial sword) to the President.
The President read out a poem 'Guru Prakasam' which he said had been written by him for the occasion. "I can visualize how Guru Arjan Dev conceptualised the holy book which includes verses of all sects symbolising it as a big symbol of national integration," he said.
The President was accompanied among others by the governors of Punjab (O P Verma) and Andhra Pradesh (Surjit Singh Barnala) and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
The visiting dignitaries were also presented photographs of the Golden Temple and books on Sikh literature.
Meanwhile, the Chandigarh administration on Tuesday notified that September 1, 2004 will be observed as a Public Holiday in all government offices/institutions/boards/corporations under the Chandigarh Administration, on the occasion of Parkash Utsav being celebrated to mark the 400th anniversary of Sri Guru Granth Sahibji.
The holiday will also be within the meaning of Section 25 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1981, an official notification said in Chandigarh.Punjab and Haryana governments had earlier declared a holiday in their states.
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