The establishment of Punjabi University in 1962 was acclaimed as a major landmark in the cultural progress of the society. The University came up as Multi-Faculty University later to impart instructions in humanistic and scientific disciplines. Today, the University is imparting education and providing Facilities and infrastructure for teaching and research. Many of the teachers of this University have won national and international distinctions.
Guru Gobind Singh Department of Religious Studies, the only Department of its kind established anywhere in India , has a unique place in overall network of teaching and research Departments of the University. It is engaged in comparative studies in the six major religions of the World- Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity and Islam. Over the years, the University has grown into an important centre of learning. Showing sensitivity to the dimension of Education, the Punjabi University is the premier institution to establish the National Integration Chair in 1991-92. It was felt that the Universities have a definite role to play in our National Life. They are to inculcate the spirit of social criticism among the intelligentsia by virtue of which it can distinguish right from wrong, knowledge from opinion and fact from theory.
The spirit of research fostered by the universities creates an attitude of free enquiry and rational discussion. Universities must fulfil their social and intellectual obligations to provide direction for meeting the national objectives. The rise of Sikhism was unique in many respects. One of these was its concern with social life along with the final objective of human life to achieve 'Moksha' (Salvation). According to the Sikh thought the whole life of a man is surrounded by unreality. Man must strive to understand the essence of this unreality & strive for the achievement of the absolute truth. However, this does not imply that the material things which are of ephemeral character do not have any value at all. The Sikh Gurus emphasised that while pursuing them, their real character should always be understood so that man does not consider these material things as ends in themselves.
Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur pursued his life in accordance with the high ideals of Sikhism. He led a normal married life and never tried to escape from his personal and social responsibilities. He only avoided getting entangled in the material aspects and devoted most of his time to spiritual advancement. In order to maintain a proper balance in the material and spiritual aspects of life, he was guided by his own father- Guru Hargobind- who while ascending the Guru Gaddi had put in two swords, symbolising 'Miri' (temporal) and 'Piri' (spiritual) aspects of the Guru's office.
The spiritual attainments of Guru Tegh Bahadur are too well known to be mentioned. In the temporal sphere, his primary objective was not to save Hindu or Sikh religion, but to defend 'Dharma', in its most comprehensive connotation.
Thus, he upheld the concept of righteousness which is a synonym for the whole system of values cherished in Indian society. Injustice or tyranny in any form was considered by the Guru as an attack on 'Dharma' and he emphasized that it had to be countered for the sake of upholding the 'Dharma'. `The various activities to be undertaken by Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur National Integration Chair will be guided by the high ideals laid down by the Great Guru. Since its inception, the Chair has been actively working for the promotion of National Integration, communal harmony and religious tolerance by organising a series of seminars, lectures and conferences as well as publishing the relevant material. The Chair organised lectures on various aspects confronting the nation. readmore...