In advance of Punjab elections, PM to Sikh leaders: 'India wasn't born in 1947'text_fields
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today that India was not born in 1947 in an interaction with senior Sikh leaders at his home in Delhi ahead of the elections in Punjab on Sunday.
"This country was hardly born in 1947. Our gurus went through so much... We suffered so much oppression during the Emergency. I was underground at that time. I used to wear a Sikh disguise to hide. I used to wear a pagdi," In a video released by his office, PM Modi addresses the gathering.
Prime Minister Modi reiterated his comment that the Congress failed to ensure that the Sikh shrine Kartarpur Sahib remained in India during Partition. Located in Pakistan, Kartarpur Sahib is around six kilometers from Punjab.
"They could not reach an agreement to bring Kartarpur, which is six km away. I started talks through the diplomatic channel. When I used to stay in Punjab I used to look at (Kartarpur Sahib) using binoculars. Then I used to think we have to do something," PM Modi added.
"This was such a holy task that with the blessings of Gurus, we did it. What we have done in such a short time, this would not have been possible without devotion," he said.
In addition, he mentioned bringing the Guru Granth Sahib back from Afghanistan.
"The Guru Granth Sahib should be brought back with pride from Afghanistan. We made arrangements and provided a special plane. I asked our ministers to bring it back with respect. It is invaluable in our lives. As someone from Gujarat, I want to say that I have ties of blood with you as one of the Punj Pyaras of Guru Gobind Singh was from Gujarat," said the PM.
"I want to do seva today," the Prime Minister told the Sikh leaders as he handed out plates to them.
In accepting the Siropa from the leaders, PM Modi stated that he had learned a lot from Sikh Gurus and had tried to follow their teachings.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also greeted with saffron patkas or scarves, the leaders wrapping them around him.
In response, a Sikh leader told PM Modi that he was the first prime minister to reach out to all hearts. "Modi-ji's heart is Sikhs' heart," he added.
"This is your home. Like you, I walked into this place, I will similarly walk to a gurudwara," PM Modi responded.
BJP and Punjab Lok Congress, along with Akali Dal led by Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, are contesting the Punjab elections in an alliance.
A number of people attended the meeting, including Harmeet Singh Kalka, Baba Balbir Singh Sichewal, Mahant Karamjit Singh, Baba Joga Singh of Dera Baba Jang Singh, and Sant Baba Mejor Singh Waa.