GEORGETOWN, Guyana — The High Commission of India in Guyana today celebrated the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh religion. Due to the ongoing health protocols and precautionary measures in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebrations this year were held virtually.

The celebration in Georgetown was organized by the Kripalani family with remote participation of a large number of devotees and followers of Guru Nanak Dev from Guyana, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis, and Anguilla.

On the occasion, High Commissioner Dr. K.J. Srinivasa addressed the community along with Kanyalal Kripalani and other community leaders.

The High Commissioner mentioned that Guru Nanak Dev showed people the path of unity, harmony, fraternity, comity, and service, and gave an economic philosophy to realize a lifestyle based on hard work, honesty, and self-respect.

The High Commissioner urged the people on this sacred occasion to resolve to conduct themselves in a manner so as to emulate Guru’s teachings. His life and teachings are an inspiration for all human beings.

“Guru Nanak left a beautiful message for us that all humans are equal including women and there should not be any discrimination in any form of gender cast, creed and that God is formless,” said Dr. Srinivasa. “He was one of the most important religious figures of India to have contributed to women’s empowerment in India. Sikhism became a religion that supports the lifestyle of an average householder.

“Moreover, he taught his disciples the methods to attain salvation while leading a normal life within society,” said Dr. Srinivasa. “He stressed the importance of life with one’s family members. He taught and also served as a living example of his teachings.

“There are unlimited teachings that inspire humankind to lead the right kind of life. Guru Nanak strongly preached the brotherhood of mankind and the fatherhood of God. His universal message is peace, love, unity, mutual respect, service, and dedication to all of humankind. His preachings came at a time when there were conflicts between various religions.”

While wishing all the participants and their loved ones a Happy Gurparab, Dr. Srinivasa also thanked the Indian Diaspora for everything that all of them do for the communities abroad and for the respective countries of their current residence. This quality of the Indians is what distinguishes them. They have always earned the respect and admiration of the country of their adoption. He urged all to stay safe and healthy and respect the COVID guidelines.