Beyond Politics: PM Modi’s Gurdwara visit signals his deep respect for Sikh culture, values

The significance of this visit goes beyond mere symbolism; it reflects a deeper connection between PM Modi and the Sikh ethos. — IANS

Brajesh Tripathi

New Delhi, May 13 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Takhat Shri Harimandir Ji Patna Sahib, while on a campaign trail in Patna on Monday, stands as a testament to his multifaceted engagement with the Sikh community and his profound respect for Sikh culture and traditions.

The significance of this visit goes beyond mere symbolism; it reflects a deeper connection between PM Modi and the Sikh ethos.

At the heart of PM Modi’s visit was his participation in various religious activities within the Gurdwara premises. By donning an orange turban, a colour closely associated with Sikhism symbolising sacrifice and courage, PM Modi not only paid homage to Sikh tradition but also signified his solidarity with the community.

Engaging himself in the preparation and serving of langar — the community meal open to all regardless of caste, creed, or social status — underscored PM Modi’s commitment to the core Sikh values of equality and ‘seva’ (selfless service).

His active involvement in these activities reflected a hands-on approach towards understanding and embracing Sikh customs, fostering a sense of inclusivity and mutual respect.

Furthermore, PM Modi’s participation in religious rituals such as the seva of Chaur Sahib and sitting in ‘Paath’ for the ‘Sarbat Da Bhala’ further demonstrated his reverence for Sikh spirituality and his willingness to immerse himself in the spiritual ambiance of the Gurdwara.

In addition to his participation in religious practices, PM Modi’s choice to pay for the “karah prasad” through the digital payment mode not only modernises the traditional offering process, but also emphasises transparency and inclusivity in financial transactions, aligning with the principles of Sikhism that advocate honesty and integrity in all aspects of life.

Moreover, the gesture of presenting PM Modi with the ‘Sanmaan Patra’ and a portrait of Mata Gujri Ji by the Gurdwara Committee reflected the mutual respect and appreciation between PM Modi and the Sikh community.

It acknowledged PM Modi’s efforts in fostering harmonious relations and understanding among different religious groups in the country.

PM Modi’s consistent visits to Gurdwaras across the country, coupled with his active participation in various Sikh rituals and traditions, highlight his genuine interest in embracing the diverse cultural tapestry of India.

These visits serve not only as a means of political outreach, but also as a platform for building bridges of understanding and harmony among the different religious communities.

In a country as diverse as India, where pluralism is celebrated as a strength, PM Modi’s outreach to the Sikh community through visits to Gurdwaras embodies his broader vision of unity in diversity.

It exemplifies his commitment to upholding the secular fabric of the nation and fostering an environment of mutual respect, coexistence, and unity among all its citizens, regardless of their religious affiliations.

The Prime Minister also took to X and shared snippets from his visit to Patna Sahib.

He wrote, “Sikhism is rooted in the principles of equality, justice, and compassion. Central to Sikhism is Seva. This morning in Patna, I had the honour of taking part in Seva as well. It was a very humbling and special experience.”

PM Modi’s statement reflects a deep appreciation and understanding of Sikh values and traditions, particularly emphasising the central tenet of Seva in Sikhism. By acknowledging the principles of equality, justice, and compassion that underpin the Sikh philosophy, PM Modi not only demonstrated his respect for the Sikh faith but also underscored the universal importance of these values in fostering a harmonious society.

The use of the term ‘honour’ to describe his participation in Seva highlights PM Modi’s recognition of the significance of this act within Sikhism. It suggests that he views engaging in Seva not merely as a routine activity, but as a privilege and a profound experience.

Furthermore, PM Modi’s characterisation of his participation in Seva as “humble” and “special” conveys a sense of humility and gratitude. It indicates that he approached the experience with reverence and appreciation, recognising the opportunity to connect with the Sikh community and contribute to a noble cause.

It goes without saying that PM Modi’s statement reflects his efforts to foster inclusivity, understanding, and mutual respect among different religious communities in India.

By actively engaging in Seva and expressing his admiration for Sikh values, he not only strengthens his bond with the Sikh community but also exemplifies the spirit of unity and cooperation that transcends religious boundaries.

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