PUNJABI University’s Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur National Integration Chair organised the second Shaheed Nanak Singh Memorial Lecture on “Defending India’s Integrity” in Patiala on January 12. The lecture was organised in collaboration with SGPC and Shaheed Nanak Singh Foundation. The lecture was delivered by Lt Gen (Retd) SK Sinha and former Governor of Assam and J&K.
Prof Baltej Singh Mann, Head of Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur National Integration Chair, welcomed the guests. Paying tribute, Dr Mann said Nanak Singh was a dedicated and spirited citizen who made a phenomenal sacrifice to promote religious tolerance and human freedom. He was jukked in the pre-partition carnage when he was trying to save some students who had organised a peace march against the Partition of the country.
Lt. General (Retd.) Niranjan Malik, former Deputy Chief of the Indian Army, introduced General Sinha and shed light on his illustrious career as an outstanding soldier, diplomat and a public servant who is serving the Indian nation for over six decades with utmost, dedication and integrity.
Lt Gen (Retd) SK Sinha said, “We are facing biggest external threat from China and Pakistan and we need to develop a multi-pronged strategy to tackle the threat. We have been facing threats from Pakistan since 1947 and from China since mid-fifties but have done little to improve our capability in the Himalayas, while China has been feverishly increasing its military capability in Tibet and building elaborate infrastructure.”
Dr Jaspal Singh, Vice Chancellor of Punjabi University said India has been witnessing many challenges during the course of history that would have fragmented it but the inheritance of a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-caste society helped us to maintain our national integrity. We must not, however, ignore the fact that there is need for utmost vigilance and caution to sustain such an inheritance. The chief characteristic of our civilisation has been unity in diversity, even as we never attempted to impose uniformity or dilute diversity. The continuity and strength of our civilisation process depends on this implicit recognition of our ancient value system, he said.
Dr Manjit Singh, Dean of the College said, “Nanak Singh belongs to the rare class of distinguished world citizens who would long be remembered by the countrymen with deep admiration”.
Maj. Gen. SH Kulkarni, PSM, GOC 1 Armd. Div. Patiala, Maj Gen. (Retd) Gaganjeet Singh, Lt. Gen. (Retd.), Deepender Singh, former MA to Field Marshall Gen. Sam Manekshaw and Shri Mukesh Anand, Chairman Shaheed Nanak Singh Foundation SAARC region, attended the lecture along with 200 dignitaries.