New Delhi: Two days ahead of the Punjab Assembly elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met Sikh community leaders from across the country, who praised him for taking action in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case and for building the Kartarpur corridor with Pakistan.
The event was organised by BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa, informed sources said. Some of the Sikh leaders who called on Modi are Harmeet Singh Kalka (Delhi), Baba Balbir Singh Sichewal (Sultanpur Lodhi), Mahant Karamjit Singh (Yamuna Nagar), Baba Joga Singh (Nanaksar, Karnal), Sant Baba Mejor Singh Waa (Amritsar), Jathedar Baba Sahib Singh (Anandpur Sahib), Surinder Singh Namdhari Darbar (Bheni Sahib) and Giani Ranjit Singh (Patna Sahib).
The Sikh leaders gifted a kirpan to Modi and later told reporters that the Prime Minister had a “good understanding” of Sikh issues and Gurus. They also thanked Modi for the Central government’s actions in constituting a Special Investigative Team on the 1984 riots, for the Kartarpur corridor, and for declaring December 26 as ‘Veer Baal Diwas’ in memory of Guru Gobind Singh‘s six-year and nine-year old sons Sahibzada Fateh Singh and Sahibzada Zorawar Singh, who were killed on December 26, 1705 on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb for refusing to convert to Islam.
In January, however, the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), while welcoming the announcement by Narendra Modi to observe Veer Bal Diwas, had expressed its reservations about the decision. “We appreciate the Prime Minister’s emotions, but it is not as per the Sikh traditions,” SGPC chief Harjinder Singh Dhami had said.
The Sikh leader had also said that Sikhs respect the sons of the tenth Sikh Guru as “warriors”, who are usually referred to as Sahibzadas, and that the word ‘Baba’ should be affixed before their names.
“The Sikh religion is based on certain principles, history and Gurbani. One should respect these principles. SGPC will appeal to the highest Sikh temple authority, Akaal Takht Sahib, to give its formal approval to the proposed day,” Dhami had said.
Indiablooms News Service & Agencies