Tragic background to PM’s appeal to Sikhs
Against a background of terrorist turbulence, prime minister Manmohan Singh has appealed to Sikhs in India to do their best to help ensure the cohesive progress of the country.
The prime minister made his plea on Thursday October 30 when he addressed the Sikhs’ Guru-ta-Gaddi tercentenary celebrations at Nanded.
It was part of a powerful call for unity in combating divisive forces and terrorists.
The prime minister stressed the Sikhs’ contribution to nation building and asked its core believers, the Khalsa Panth, to do their best for the the country.
His call came in the context of attacks against north Indians in Maharashtra and on the day when Assam was afflicted by a series of lethal explosions.
Two days later, accompanied by ruling Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, he visited bomb sites and victims of the blasts, which killed 77 people.
He was at the bedside of some of the 300 injured in the state’s main city of Guwahati.
Mr Singh said: “There will be no compromise on terror,” as police announced they had arrested six people in connection with the attack.
At Nanded the prime minister said those who would halt the country’s progress had to be fought collectively and effectively to protect the unity and integrity of the nation.
Sikhs from around the world celebrated the tercenetenary in the venerated town, 650 kilometres from Mumbai. It was at Nanded that Guru Govind Singh consecrated the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scripture.
The prime minister was offered a gold-coloured sword, a saffron jacket and a chadar at the gurdwara. Other government ministers also offered prayers at the temple.
The organisers invited one Sikh from every family in India to attend the week-long celebrations and representives from Sikh communities worldwide.
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