Apparently trying to bring back the increasingly alienating Sikh population to the Indian mainstream, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said there was a need to ensure that the country’s unity remained secure. Virtually addressing the Gurpurab celebrations at Gurudwara Lakhpat Sahib in Kutch of Gujarat, the prime minister said Guru Tegh Bahadur’s valour taught how the country ought to fight against terror and religious extremism.
“Guru Tegh Bahadur’s valour against Aurangzeb teaches us how the country fights against terror and religious fanaticism. Similarly, the life of the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib is also a living example of tenacity and sacrifice at every step,” Prime Minister Modi said today, days after the disturbing news of quite a few cases of lynching of Hindus by Sikhs in Punjab.
“The contribution of our Gurus is not limited to society and spirituality only. It is the great penance of the Sikh Gurus at the core, that the faith and integrity of our nation are safe today. Guru Nanak Dev ji and our different gurus not only kept the consciousness of India ignited but also made a way to keep India safe,” the prime minister said.
Rubbing in the point that, contrary to the apprehension in some Hindu quarters that the renovation of the Kashi Vishwanath Complex means Aurangzeb’s monstrosity in the form of the Gyanvapi Mosque has been forgotten and forgiven, the BJP today reiterated the prime minister’s speech, invoking the Mughal king and Chhatrapati Shivaji, delivered on the day of the inauguration in Varanasi. This time, it was Guru Teg Bahadur in the place of Shivaji, of course.
Referring to his US visit, Prime Minister Modi said that that his government brought back more than 150 historical objects including a peshkabja (small sword), on which the name of Guru Hargobind ji was written in Persian, from America.
Prime Minister Modi said that the countrymen had been wishing for easy access to Kartarpur Sahib and in 2019 and his government completed the work of the Kartarpur Corridor.
“More recently, we have successfully and safely brought Guru Granth Sahib from Afghanistan to India. What can be a greater experience of Guru’s grace than this? Efforts were made at every level in order to spread the message of Guru Nanak Dev ji to the entire world with new energy. The Kartarpur Sahib Corridor which was awaited for decades, our government completed its construction in 2019,” he said.
The prime minister said that it has always been a matter of pride for Gujarat that the fourth Gursikh, Bhai Mokham Singh ji who played an important role in the establishment of Khalsa Panth, was from the state.
Prime Minister Modi further said, “In 2021, we are celebrating 400 years of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji’s Prakash Utsav, you must have seen we were successful in bringing the copies of Guru Granth Sahib from Afghanistan.”
At least three incidents of lunching have been reported from Punjab in the last 10 days. Whereas every effort has been made by governments, politicians, Sikhs and the news media to divert public attention from the murder at the Golden Temple of Amritsar to ‘sacrilege’, the incidents of Kapurthala (where the victim was a mentally retarded person) and Tarn Taran have been tenuously linked to ‘hurt Sikh sentiments’ too.
Five days after the lynching of the deranged man in District Kapurthala, police yesterday booked the gurdwara granthi, Amarjit Singh, on the charge of murder and arrested him. Police booked also around 100 unidentified people, including 25-30 “accomplices” of Singh and claimed they have recovered a pistol used in an incident of firing that day.
While they ruled out any desecration and called it a murder, police said they were looking at the possibility of the killing being part of a conspiracy to “sensationalise” the sacrilege issue.
While the lynchings in Punjab were disturbing enough already, intelligence agencies reported yesterday that the bombing at a court complex in Ludhiana was a handiwork of Khalistanis operating out of Pakistan, bringing back the dark memories of radicalisation and militancy in the state in the 1980s.