SGPC not to extend invite to Modi for ‘anti-farmer’ stand

Owing to his ‘anti-farmer’ stand by bringing three farm laws that the farmers have been demanding to revoke, the highest religious body of the Sikh community, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), has decided that Prime Minister Narendra Modi won’t be extended the special invite for the Sikh centenary events.

Normally, the SGPC extends special invites to the Prime Minister and the President on historical occasions.

“We have decided not to extend any special invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the upcoming centenary events, including the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur,” SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur said.

The reason, she cited, was the Prime Minister’s reluctance to revoke the three laws that the farmers fear will affect their livelihoods.

At the same time, the SGPC chief said, “Anyone can come to attend any religious function of the Sikhs.”

Earlier, Modi was the chief guest at the event to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak in November 2019.

Now, the SGPC is going to start year-long celebrations for the 400th birth anniversary of the ninth Sikh master, Guru Teg Bahadur, from April.

Bibi Jagir Kaur also demanded the reopening of the Kartarpur corridor that links Dera Baba Nanak town in Gurdaspur district with Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Shakargarh tehsil in Narowal district of Pakistan.

“Keeping in mind the sentiments of the sangat (community), the government of India should reopen the corridor that was temporarily shut due to the coronavirus pandemic,” she added.

In the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, travel for Kartarpur Sahib was suspended on March 16, 2020, by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Modi on November 9, 2019, had opened the Kartarpur corridor by flagging off the first lot of pilgrims to visit the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, believed to have been built on the site where Guru Nanak died in the 16th century, located some 4 km inside Pakistan.