PM Narendra Modi’s visit to a Delhi gurdwara is making global headlines.
The reason behind so much attention is because there were no police barricades or traffic restrictions put in place during the PM’s visit. Also, Rakab Ganj Sahib Gurdwara is iconic as mortal remains of Guru Tegh Bahadur were cremated here.
On December 19, it was the death anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur, ninth Sikh guru and Modi visited the holy place a day after that.
His visit came at a time when farmers from Punjab and Haryana, states where Sikh is a major community are protesting at the borders of the national capital.
If one connects the dots, he/she will get to know that the prime minister’s visit was symbolic. And this report tells why.
“I, like millions around the world, am deeply inspired by the kindnesses of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji,” Modi tweeted following his visit.
This morning, I prayed at the historic Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib, where the pious body of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji was cremated. I felt extremely blessed. I, like millions around the world, am deeply inspired by the kindnesses of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji. pic.twitter.com/ECveWV9JjR
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 20, 2020
The message and gesture of the PM struck a chord as the ninth Sikh guru was indeed the embodiment of service and sacrifice.
Born as Tyaga Mall, he studied Sikh scriptures and weaponry in Amristar, Punjab at a very young age. His father, Guru Hargobind, was the sixth Sikh guru.
Guru Hargobind was also the first guru to raise arms against religious prejudice that was rampant under the Mughals in 17th century India and his youngest son Tyaga Mall took the fight forward.
He made the ultimate sacrifice and was beheaded for standing up to the Mughals. His grandfather, Guru Arjan Dev, had done the same. He too was assassinated by the Mughals.
Guru Tegh Bahadur’s term ran from 1665 to 1675 and during this period, he travelled across India to spread the teachings of Guru Nanak.
He set up community kitchens and wells wherever he went.
In the late 17th century, then Mughal emperor Aurangzeb imposed the Sharia law across his empire in which non-Muslims were slapped with the Jizya tax.
Several people were forcibly converted and Kashmiri pandits were amongst them.
It is believed that those who fled forced conversions sought the refuge of Guru Tegh Bahadur.
The Sikh guru travelled to Delhi to dissuade Aurangzeb from the measure.
Some claims suggest that Aurangzeb asked Hindus to bring someone who was willing to sacrifice himself for their religion and Guru Tegh Bahadur volunteered.
On November 24, 1675, Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded in front of a large crowd.
His death is considered among the greatest humanitarian sacrifices the world has seen ever.
The ninth Sikh guru stands for peace, sacrifice, universal brotherhood and religious freedom.
His story is similar to Indian farmers who toil to feed a country of over 1.3 billion people.
As global leaders are politicising their cause, Modi has sent a symbolic message of solidarity with the farmers by paying tribute to the Sikh guru who is remembered for his selfless service to people.
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