On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a commemorative coin marking the 352nd birth anniversary of 10th Sikh Guru Guru Gobind Singh Ji at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, New Delhi.
The event was held at PM Modi’s residence. It was also attended by former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and many other Sikh dignitaries.
Addressing the event, PM Modi applauded the government decision to construct Kartarpur Corridor and promised justice to the families of 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims.
Prime Minister Modi said,
“Kartarpur corridor project is an attempt to atone for the mistakes committed during India’s partition in August 1947. We had failed to ensure that the sacred site of Guru remains on our side of the border. This project is authentic proof of compensating that loss.”
Speaking on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots which occurred after the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards Beant Singh and Satwant Singh where around 2,700 Sikhs were killed across India, he said,
“Our government will ensure that all the culprits are behind the bars and victims’ families get justice.”
Further, by saying the Sikh gurus “taught us to be on the side of justice,” PM targeted the opposition party on multiple fronts. He said the central government is “trying to get justice for the people who suffered during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.”
Moreover, Prime Minister Modi, while talking about the values Guru Gobind Singh taught to humanity, said:
“Guru Govind Singh, the feeder of humanity to Khalsa sect, was dedicated to Indian culture and traditions.
Today, I have got a great opportunity to release the commemorative coin to mark the 352nd Parkash Purab of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. His coin is already imprinted in our hearts for many years. It is, however, just a small gesture to pay respect and express our faith in his principles. Guru Gobind Singh Ji was not only a Guru (teacher) but also a great devotee. He was not only an exceptional fighter but also a noteworthy poet and creative writer. He was against injustice and a firm supporter of peace. He sacrificed his own son to protect thousands of sons of the nation. Guru Gobind Singh Ji is a true example of patriotism, peace, humanity, and patience.”
Moreover, he said,
“Guru Gobind Singh Ji was a great warrior, philosopher poet, and guru. He fought against oppression and injustice. His teachings to people focused on breaking the barriers of religion and caste. His message of love, peace, and sacrifice are equally relevant today.”
PM Modi also flagged the Kartarpur Corridor as an achievement of his government. Further, he mentioned that now the followers of Guru Nanak Ji won’t have to look through a telescope for darshan (view) of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. It is one of the holiest Sikh shrines where Guru Nanak Dev spent 18 years of his life.
He said in a veiled attack on the then Congress government,
“A mistake took place in August 1947. It (the corridor) is an atonement of the mistake. An important place of our guru was only a few kilometers away. But it could not be made the part (of India during partition) … the corridor is an effort to reduce the damage..”
In the same context, Sushma Swaraj, Foreign Minister, said that the dialogue between the two nations “is not connected with only the Kartarpur corridor… The moment Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India, the dialogue can start”.
On concluding the event, PM said that now his government plans to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. He pointed out that the events will not only be held in the states, but also across the country. He mentioned that the Indian embassies abroad would also organize programmes as part of the celebrations.