March 24, 2023

PM Narendra Modi hosts Sikh leaders, says country wasn’t born in 1947 | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: In an outreach just two days ahead of the polls in Punjab, PM Modi on Friday hosted a group of prominent Sikh community leaders and cited the work done by the BJP government for the community, including the opening of the Kartarpur corridor and safe bringing of “Guru Granth Sahib” from Afghanistan after the Taliban took over.
The meeting at the PM’s residence coincided with the last day for campaigning for the polls in Punjab where BJP has pulled out all the stops to woo the Sikh community as it seeks to put up a strong show in an alliance with former CM Amarinder Singh’s Punjab Lok Congress and the Akali Dal faction headed by Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa.
“This house is yours … I am just a temporary resident here. Have reached here walking miles and one day, I will retreat maybe to a gurudwara,” he said while interacting with the Sikh saints. With “shabad-kirtan” providing the backdrop during the interaction, the PM put on “dastar” on the head and “Siropa” on the neck as he himself served breakfast to the guests. “I am privileged to host all of you and today is my turn to serve you all,” he said.
The PM said he had always tried to implement the teachings of the Sikh gurus and recalled the sacrifices made by the Sikh community and religious leaders, mainly against the Mughals, saying, “This country was not born in 1947 … We all know the sacrifices made by our Sikh gurus.”
Recalling his own days spent in Punjab while in hiding during the emergency, the PM said, “Punjab had launched a satyagraha during the emergency. I used to remain underground and wore Sikh pagoda most of the time”. He also recalled the challenge of bringing the “Guru Granth Sahib” from Afghanistan. “I asked Hardeep Singh Puri to go to Afghanistan .. Sirsa (Manjinder Singh) had also gone. I told them that this is an opportunity of great service as Guru Granth sahib is a priceless gem for us,” Modi said.

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