PM Modi’s Bond with the Sikh Community

Published By : Admin | December 5, 2023 | 15:36 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always connected deeply with the Sikh community, one rooted in mutual respect, admiration, and shared values. His heartfelt gestures and unwavering commitment to their well-being have touched the hearts of Sikhs across India and the globe.

A testament to this special bond is the historic opening of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor in 2019, a long-awaited dream of the Sikh community. This groundbreaking initiative has facilitated seamless access to the revered Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, enabling devotees from India to pay their respects without the hassle of visas and cross-border restrictions.

In another significant move, Prime Minister Modi designated December 26 as Veer Baal Diwas, a national day to commemorate the martyrdom of the Sahibzadas Zorawar Singh Ji and Fateh Singh Ji, the sons of Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Professor Simrit Kaur, Principal of the Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), concurs that this recognition of their sacrifice has resonated deeply with the Sikh community, solidifying their sense of belonging and national pride. It is of great pride to her that young children have started asking questions to learn about the Sahibzadas and their immense sacrifices.

Next, the Prime Minister has taken decisive steps to enhance connectivity to Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara, a prominent Sikh pilgrimage site in the Himalayas. By prioritizing infrastructure development in the region, he has made it easier for devotees to undertake this arduous yet spiritually enriching journey. Sant Singh Chatwal, an NRI from the USA, seconds this as he has witnessed this journey becoming more comfortable and accessible now.

Further demonstrating his unwavering support, Prime Minister Modi has also played a pivotal role in the evacuation of Sikhs from Afghanistan. His swift and decisive actions ensured the safe passage of hundreds of Sikhs, showcasing his unwavering commitment to protecting the community's interests.

Beyond these specific initiatives, Prime Minister Modi has consistently championed the Sikh community's welfare. He has supported initiatives to preserve Sikh heritage and promote the Punjabi language and culture. His genuine empathy and understanding of Sikh aspirations have fostered a deep sense of trust and admiration among the community.

As a former judge of the Delhi High Court, Justice GS Sistani recalls, there is a little-known but enormously significant Lakhpat Sahib Gurdwara in Kutch, Gujarat, where Guru Nanak Dev Ji stayed twice during his travels. This Gurdwara was damaged during the Gujarat earthquake, and PM Modi led its restoration efforts to bring it back to glory.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's unwavering commitment to the Sikh community has fostered a special bond of mutual respect and admiration. His initiatives have addressed their needs and reinforced their sense of belonging and national pride. The Sikh community, in turn, has wholeheartedly embraced Prime Minister Modi as a leader who values their contributions and protects their interests.

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୭୭ତମ ସ୍ବାଧୀନତା ଦିବସ ଅବସରରେ ଲାଲକିଲ୍ଲା ପ୍ରାଚୀରରୁ ପ୍ରଧାନମନ୍ତ୍ରୀ ନରେନ୍ଦ୍ର ମୋଦୀଙ୍କ ଅଭିଭାଷଣର ମୂଳ ପାଠ

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୭୭ତମ ସ୍ବାଧୀନତା ଦିବସ ଅବସରରେ ଲାଲକିଲ୍ଲା ପ୍ରାଚୀରରୁ ପ୍ରଧାନମନ୍ତ୍ରୀ ନରେନ୍ଦ୍ର ମୋଦୀଙ୍କ ଅଭିଭାଷଣର ମୂଳ ପାଠ
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Narendra Modi: The Underground Warrior Against the Emergency
June 25, 2024

During the infamous Emergency period in India (1975-1977), when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed a dictatorial regime, Shri Narendra Modi emerged as a critical figure in the resistance movement. Shri Modi's activism during this period, marked by his innovative and fearless approach, significantly contributed to the underground communications network and sustained the fight against the oppressive regime.

The Beginnings of Resistance

Shri Narendra Modi's journey into the heart of the resistance began before the official declaration of the Emergency on June 25, 1975. The student-led agitations against the corruption of the Congress Party were already sweeping the nation, and Gujarat was a significant epicentre of this movement. During the Navnirman Andolan in 1974, Shri Modi, then a Yuva Pracharak of the RSS, was deeply influenced by the power of student voices in driving change. He actively participated in these agitations, leveraging his Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad role to deliver fiery speeches that galvanized the youth.

Role in the Underground Movement

Once the Emergency was imposed, censorship and repression became the norm. Shri Modi and other volunteers organized secret meetings and took on the dangerous task of disseminating underground literature. Collaborating closely with senior RSS leaders like Nath Zagda and Vasant Gajendragadkar, he developed ingenious methods to bypass tight security measures.
One of Shri Modi's remarkable strategies involved using the railway network to spread information. He would load materials related to the Constitution, laws, and the Congress government's excesses onto trains departing from Gujarat, ensuring the messages reached remote areas with minimal risk of detection. This innovative approach was pivotal in maintaining the flow of information across the country.

Leadership and International Outreach

With the RSS forced to go underground, the Gujarat Lok Sangharsh Samiti was established, and Shri Modi, at the young age of 25, quickly rose to the position of General Secretary. His leadership was instrumental in sustaining the revolt against the Congress government, especially during the challenging periods when key movement leaders were imprisoned under the MISA Act.

Shri Narendra Modi also extended his efforts internationally, reaching out to individuals abroad and urging them to publish underground publications to amplify global resistance. He coordinated the collection of articles from the Gujarat Newsletter and Sadhana Patrika, which were then disseminated through platforms like the BBC. Shri Modi ensured that international publications critical of the Emergency, such as 'Satyavani,' were circulated back to India, including inside jails.

Covert Operations and Disguises

Shri Modi frequently adopted various disguises to evade detection. His ability to blend in was so effective that even his acquaintances often failed to recognize him. He dressed as a Swamiji in saffron attire and even as a Sikh with a turban. On one occasion, he successfully deceived jail authorities to deliver an important document, highlighting his resourcefulness and bravery.

Post-Emergency Recognition

After the Emergency was lifted in 1977, Shri Modi's activism and leadership during this tumultuous period began to gain recognition. He was invited to Mumbai to discuss the youth's resistance efforts, and his contributions were acknowledged with a modest monetary reward. His relentless efforts during the Emergency led to his appointment as the 'Sambhag Pracharak' of South and Central Gujarat, and he was tasked with preparing official RSS articles documenting the period.

Authoring 'Sangharsh Ma Gujarat'

In 1978, Shri Modi authored his first book, 'Sangharsh Ma Gujarat,' a memoir of his experiences during the Emergency. Remarkably, he completed the book in just 23 days, subsisting solely on lemon water and no solid food. The book, launched by then Chief Minister of Gujarat Babubhai Jasbhai Patel, received widespread acclaim for its objective coverage of the Emergency and was reviewed on national public radio and in prominent newspapers.

The memoir not only chronicled the events of the Emergency but also served as a testament to the collective resistance. It was praised for its wealth of information and objective approach, earning personal accolades from numerous leaders.

Legacy, Continued Vigilance and Solemn Vow

Fifty years later, as Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi continues to remind the nation of the dark days of the Emergency. He emphasizes the importance of preserving democracy and vows never to let the recurrence of such authoritarianism again. His legacy as a fearless warrior against the dictatorial regime of Indira Gandhi during the Emergency remains a significant chapter in India's history, inspiring current and future generations to uphold the values of democracy and freedom.