Chandigarh, Oct 26 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today exhorted the people of Punjab to follow the teachings of Bhagat Namdev, who preached mankind to rise above the caste, colour and creed and strived hard throughout his life to carve out an egalitarian society.
Addressing a religious congregation, on the occasion of 737th Parkash Utsav of Bhagat Namdev here, Mr Badal said the fifth Guru of Sikhs Guru Arjan Dev included the ''Bani'' (hymns) of Bhagat Namdev in Guru Granth Sahib to give due recognition to the saints of Bhakti movement.
Mr Badal also mentioned that it was a matter of great pride and honour for the people of Punjabis that Bhagat Namdev lived for more than 20 years at village Ghuman to spread the message of universal brotherhood, righteousness and compassion among the humanity.
The Chief Minister pointed out that it was sad that the mankind was again being divided on the basis of castes and religions, which was against the ethics of ''Gurbani''.
He said, the Gurus, saints, seers and prophets propagated the message of love, peace and harmony and preached the humanity to follow the same.
He said terrorism and violence perpetrated by the fundamental and anti-national elements could not disintegrate ''our great nation because its foundation had been laid on the basis of the age-old teachings and sermons of Gurus and Bhagats like Namdev, Kabir and Ravi Dass.
He said, ''we should be steadfast in our own religion but at the same time should respect the other religions too.
Responding to the demands put forth by the Namdev Sant Samaj, Mr Badal announced to include their representative Jagdev Singh from Samana in the working committee of SAD.
He also announced to set up a skill training development centre at Mohali and name one of the Adarsh Schools to be set up in the state after Bhagat Namdev. Besides, Mr Badal also announced a grant of Rs five for the development and expansion of local Bhagat Namdev Bhawan.