India’s Sikh population stands at 20.8 million, which is only 1.72% of the country’s total population.
By: The PIB Bureau
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi of India, today hosted a Sikh delegation at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, the official residence of the Prime Minister. The group included people from different walks of life. Union Minister, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri was among those present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister recalled his long association with the Sikh community. “Going to Gurudwaras, spending time in ‘Sewa’, getting langar, staying at the homes of Sikh families has been a part of my life. The feet of Sikh saints keep falling from time to time in the Prime Minister’s residence here. I keep getting the good fortune of their company”, the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister also recalled his visits to the places of Sikh heritage all over the world during his visits abroad.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “our Gurus have taught us courage and service. The people of India have gone to different parts of the world without any resources and achieved success through their labour. This is the spirit of New India today too”, he said.
Reiterating his appreciation for the mood of new India, the Prime Minister said New India is scaling new dimensions and is leaving its mark on the whole world. The period of the Corona epidemic is the biggest example of this. At the beginning of the epidemic, people with old mindsets were expressing concerns about India. But now, people are giving the example of India for its handling of the pandemic. Earlier concerns were being voiced over the enormity of the population of India and many were doubtful about vaccines for Indians. But today India has emerged as the biggest vaccine maker. “You will also be proud to hear that 99 percent of the vaccination has been done through our own Made in India Vaccines”, he said.
The Prime Minister said in this difficult period, India has emerged as one of the world’s largest start-up ecosystems. “The number of our unicorns is constantly increasing. This growing stature and credibility of India provide maximum satisfaction and pride to our diaspora”, he added. The Prime Minister said “I have always considered our Indian diaspora as Rashtrdoot of India. All of you are the strong voice and lofty identity of Maa Bharati abroad.” He said even the diaspora feels proud about the strides of growth that India is taking. “Wherever we are in the world, ‘India First’ needs to be our primary faith, he added.
Bowing to the great contribution and sacrifices of the Gurus, the Prime Minister recalled how Guru Nanak Dev ji awakened the consciousness of the entire nation and bought the nation out of darkness and took it on the path of light. He said that the Gurus travelled all over India and everywhere there are their signs and inspirations. They are revered and there is faith in them everywhere. The Prime Minister said that the feet of Gurus sanctified this great land and inspired its people. Sikh tradition is a living tradition of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat’, he said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed the county’s gratitude for Sikh Community’s contribution during the freedom struggle and after Independence. He said that the ‘Sikh community is synonymous with the courage, prowess and hard work of the country’.
The Prime Minister once again elaborated on his vision of India’s freedom struggle. He said that this struggle is not confined to a limited period but is a manifestation of thousands of years of consciousness, ideals, spiritual values and ‘Tapasya’.
The Prime Minister expressed happiness on the good fortune of being associated with the landmark events like Guru Teg Bahadur’s 400th Prakash Purab, Guru Nanak Devji’s 550th Prakash Purab and Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s 350th Prakash Purab. He also said that events like the construction of Kartarpur Corridor, making langars tax-free, FCRA permission for Harmandir Sahib and improving infrastructure and cleanliness around Gurudwaras have been done during the tenure of this government.
The Prime Minister referred to the Gurus’ emphasis on duty and linked it with the same emphasis on the sense of duty in the Amrit Kaal and said the mantra of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas is an evocation of this spirit. He said this sense of duty is important not only for the present but also for our future generations. He praised the Sikh community for being always active in the causes of the environment, nutrition, and protection of cultural values. He concluded by requesting the gathering to contribute in the recently launched campaign for Amrit Sarovar.