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Defeat divisive forces: PM
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, dressed in the saffron robes of the Khalsa, in Nanded Sahib on Thursday.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, dressed in the saffron robes of the Khalsa, in Nanded Sahib on Thursday. — AFP photo

Hazur Sahib, October 30
After paying obeisance at Takht Hazur Sahib, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today called upon the Sikh community to be instrumental in protecting the unity and integrity of the country like they had done in the past.

Appreciating Sikhs community’s contribution in the nation building, the Prime Minister said the Khalsa was formed to defend the country. The Prime Minister appealed to the Sikh panth to do its best for the development of the country.

However, the gathering at the pandal was low due to the total mismanagement of the Takht authorities. More than half of the pandal remained vacant.

In his brief speech, the Prime Minister cautioned the countrymen to beware of those forces, which were working to destabilise the country and wanted to spread hatred in society. He specifically asked the people to be conscious about gender inequality in society.

He appealed to the people to save the environment by quoting a couplet from Sikh scriptures.

Without referring to the violence against north Indians in Maharashtra, the Prime Minister asked the countrymen to get ready to give befitting reply to the “divisive forces” that were out to break the country and halt its progress. He was honoured with traditional golden-coloured “chola” (gown), sword, and siropa by Giani Bakshish Singh, a katha-vachak of the gurdwara.

Earlier, Surjit Singh Barnala and Iqbal Singh, Governor of Tamil Nadu and member of the Congress Working Committee, respectively, were honoured in a similar way.

Union home minister Shivraj Patil, Governor of Bihar R.L. Bhatia, tourism and culture minister Ambika Soni, urban development minister S. Jaipal Reddy, Chief Minister, Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal, his son and president of the SAD Sukhbir Singh Badal, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and former Chief Minister of Punjab Rajinder Kaur Bhattal also offered prayers at the Takht.



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