Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday morning paid a surprise visit to Gurudwara Rakabganj in New Delhi to mark the martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur. The visit, early in the morning and without any traffic diversion or security bandobast, took other visitors at the Gurudwara by surprise.
Mr. Modi paid obeisance at the Gurudwara, chatted with the staff there including the granthis and posed for pictures with other visitors. The visit comes as several thousand farmers from Punjab and Haryana, many of them Sikhs, have been protesting for over 20 days at the borders of Delhi against three agriculture related laws passed by Parliament in the September.
The Gurudwara stands at the spot where Guru Tegh Bahadur was cremated after being killed on Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb’s orders, after he had interceded on behalf of Hindus for the removal of the jaziya tax (special tax paid by non-Muslim citizens).
Mr. Modi’s visit was clearly aimed at cooling some passions. Farmers groups have been upset over statements from the BJP alleging that Khalistani separatists could also be involved in the agitation.