India to set up Guru Nanak chair in UK university

Wednesday, 22/05/2019

LONDON: India is in the process of setting up a chair in a British university as part of Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary celebrations, India’s high commissioner to the UK Ruchi Ghanshyam said at an event in Cardiff attended by local dignitaries and others.

Part of the high commission’s community outreach, the event was organised at Cardiff University in association with the Sikh Council of Wales and four gurdwaras in Wales. It was attended by the first minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, and others.

The Guru Nanak Chair funded by India is to be based in a university in the Midlands region of England, which has a considerable Indian-origin and Sikh population. Ghanshyam announced the chair over the weekend among other initiatives to mark the year-long celebrations.

Recalling Guru Nanak’s message transcending time, countries, castes, creed and gender, she said it is relevant today and would continue to guide humanity for generations to come.

Besides the Guru Nanak Chair, Ghanshyam noted initiatives such as the development of the Kartarpur corridor, development of historic town of Sultanpur Lodi, special trains connecting various holy places associated with Guru Nanak and commemorative coins and stamps.

She said the universal appeal of Guru Nanak’s message was reflected in Sri Ram Mandir in Southall, London, recently by organising a major event with participation of several gurdwaras and people of different faiths.

The Cardiff event was telecast live by the Sikh Channel to 106 countries and one of the highlights children reciting ‘shabad’ and highlighting various facets of Sikh culture, a spokesperson of the high commission said on Tuesday.

Dignitaries at the event included Brooke Boothby, vicelord lieutenant of Cardiff and South Glamorgan, Diane Rees, lord mayor of Cardiff, Jenny Randerson, chancellor, Cardiff University, Gurmit Singh Randhawa, president of Sikh Council, Wales, and professor James Hegarty of Cardiff University.

In February, Punjab University, Lahore, created the Guru Nanak research chair to promote the message of peace that the Sikh spiritual leader preached.

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