Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday recalled the contribution of Sikhs in the Ram temple movement and cited a police complaint of 1858 to back his statement that the temple movement might have started with Sikhs.
“According to government records, an FIR registered on December 1, 1858, stated how unarmed Sikhs raising the cries, hailing Guru Govind Singh ji had taken over the entire Ram temple complex and had written ‘Ram Ram’ on the entire complex. So as per this, the Ram Temple movement started with Sikhs,” Singh said.
“I believe that the community has made a great contribution to the Sanatani cause,” he said during his visit to Alambagh Gurudwara as he concluded his two-day visit to the state capital. Hailing the community, he recalled how in the past, the Sikhs had even stamped their authority as far as Afghanistan.
“Who can forget Raja Ranbir Singh ji who not only put up a golden canopy on Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple Amritsar) but also got a similar thing done at Baba Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi which was later looted. I believe that the golden canopy at Amritsar temple is a reminder to the golden era of our cultural history and for which the Sikh community made great and unforgettable sacrifices,” he added.
“I think Sikhs are the only community whose people have made most sacrifices for the country and whose presence in the armed forces is far more in comparison to their overall population. There are many who also question the community’s contribution to freedom movement. I would like to remind such people of the sacrifice by Guru Tegh Bahadur who got beheaded for the sake of the country. The sacrifice by Guru Gobind Singh ji and the ‘Khalsas’ are also a part of the same great tradition,” Singh added.
The defence minister said he was also aware of the history of the Sikh regiment. “Whenever I visit the soldiers and they raise the cry of ‘Jo Bole So Nihaal, Sat Sri Akaal’, then raising the slogan along with them one is filled with indescribable happiness. Due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push, December 26 is observed as ‘Veer Bal Diwas’ to mark the martyrdom of Guru Gobind Singh ji’s sons. The contribution of the community can never be forgotten and the community’s role in building of New India is also a significant one,” he added.
Busy Sunday for defence minister
On Sunday, various delegations met the defence minister and appreciated him for having started several development projects that have begun to transform the state capital. The delegations also apprised him of their issues and sought Singh’s help. Lucknow mayor Sushma Kharakwal, Lucknow BJP chief Anand Dwivedi, BJP MLC Mukesh Sharma, Raghvendra Shukla of the Gomti Nagar Jan Kalyan Samiti were among those present, said Lucknow BJP’s media in-charge Praveen Garg.
Rajnath to be back in Lucknow on Oct 30
The defence minister who left for Delhi on Sunday afternoon would be back in his Lok Sabha constituency on Monday evening. Singh would be in the state capital to flag off the ‘Run for Unity’ marking Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary to be celebrated on October 31.
He will also attend the conclusion of ‘Janata Raja’, a play on the life and times of legendary Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji at Janeshwar Mishra park in the state capital.