Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday sought forgiveness for “whatever mistakes may have been committed, inadvertently or otherwise in the past.”
In an emotional homage to the late Parkash Singh Badal at a public gathering for Antim Ardas (the final prayer during the Bhog ceremony) of former Punjab Chief Minister at Lambi in Muktsar, the SAD chief said: “I and my family owe an irreparable debt of gratitude to the Panth and Punjabis across the world, for the overflowing love and support we have received during these tough days filling me with boundless humility.”
“This sacred bond with the Sangat tells me to seek forgiveness for whatever mistakes may ever have been committed at any time in the past by me, my party or anyone in our family. The Sangat has always been and shall always remain supreme for us, and we always trust and submit to the highest grace of the great Guru Sahiban and Shri Guru Granth Sahib,” said Badal as he stressed the need to uphold the values his father upheld.
“I know I am hardly worthy of the unmatched and historic elegance of the legacy of Badal Sahib but I give you this solemn and sacred vachan (commitment) that every minute and every breath of my life I will dedicate to earning and deserving this legacy,” the Akali Dal president said.
“I promise the Khalsa Panth, the people of Punjab and the country that I will strive day and night for upholding the ideals placed before us by the great Guru Sahiban through the most sacred Shri Guru Granth Sahib. These ideals spring from a deep and unswerving commitment to Seva (service) and to the concept of spiritual Secularism as contained in the concept of Sarbat da Bhala. Punjabis have always lived by and taken pride in this vision, and I will not let the grounds for this pride weaken ever,” Badal added.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla were among the various leaders present at the ‘bhog’ ceremony of the former CM who passed away at 95 on 25 April. Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and Sachin Pilot were among those present.
Religious leaders including Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh, Dera Radha Soami Satsang Beas head Baba Gurinder Singh Dhillon, and SGPC chief Harjinder Singh Dhami, also paid tributes to Badal.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah described Badal senior as a man with a big heart who stood up against the Emergency as a matter of principle. Shah said that during Badal’s career spanning decades, the latter dedicated himself to the welfare of the poor and his demise was a big blow to the Sikh Panth as well as the country which had lost a true patriot.
He also lauded the secular credentials of the former chief minister, stating that the latter had built a gurdwara, mandir and masjid in his native village Badal. The Home Minister said that the former Chief Minister’s demise was a personal blow to him.