Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan): The 30th of November 2020 marks the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. His birth is celebrated worldwide, and Gurpurab is one of the most sacred days for the Sikh community. Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first of the 10 Sikh gurus, was the founder of the religion of Sikhism. He dedicated himself to the service of humanity. His teachings can be found in the sacred Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib. The success of the Sikh community is derived from the humble teachings of the great Guru Nanak Dev Ji. As a social reformer he supported and upheld causes for women, poor people, the distressed and the oppressed. One of his famous preachings on female gender equality says, ‘So Kyon Manda Aakhiye Jit Jamme Rajan’, which means, ‘Why call her inferior? From her the kings are born’.
I am proud to be from the land where once great men like Guru Nanak Dev Ji walked. I am also very proud to recognise the Australian Indian Sikh community, particularly the Victorian people of Sikh faith, with whom I have a very close friendship. The Western Metropolitan Region is home to so many Sikhs and several gurdwaras. People of Sikh faith have made significant positive contributions to the Victorian and Australian culture, and it is important to recognise that. The Sikh community are known for their generosity. During the COVID-19 pandemic the Sikh organisations stepped up selflessly to help the community through this difficult period in Victoria. I would like to take this opportunity to wish every Sikh a very happy Gurpurab. Guru Nanak Dev Ji de Gurpurab di lakh lakh vadhai.