Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a surprise visit in which no traffic barriers or police bandobast was set up, went to pay his respects to the Gurdwara Rakabganj. In the midst of chaos due to the ongoing farmer protests in the state, the PM even stopped to take photos with the visitors.
The temple, near Parliament House, was where Sikh saint Guru Teg Bahadur was cremated. On his Twitter handle, Modi wrote, “I felt extremely blessed.”
While a lot of users on Twitter were pleasantly surprised and welcomed Modi to the temple for visiting like a common man and without any restrictions, a lot of people urged him to visit the protests and put an end to it, by negotiating with the farmers and paying attention to their needs and demands.
For the past three weeks, thousands of farmers from the states of Punjab and Haryana have marched to the capital and have blocked the highways, protesting and asking the government to repeal the three new farm laws. Over 20 farmers have now died amidst these protests, due to suicide or the cold or even road accidents. Entering into day 22 of the farmer protests, the farmers today observed a ‘Shradhanjali Diwas’ to pay homage to the farmers that have been martyred.
Modi’s visit also comes a day after the death anniversary of the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur who was cremated at the Gurdwara Rakabganj. “Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji’s life epitomised courage and compassion. On his Shaheedi Diwas, I bow to the great Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji and recall his vision for a just and inclusive society,” Modi tweeted.
Earlier this week, regarding the farmers demands, Modi said, “"If anyone has any concerns, then with our heads bowed and our hands folded, with humility, we are willing to discuss with them and assuage their fears."