NATIONAL

With prayers on their lips, kin stay put in gurdwaras

Indrani Dutta

People from all religions offer prayers in Kolkata

Kolkata: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s sisters, who stay in the city, heaved a sigh of relief on receiving news of his successful surgery, even as they along with family members, participated in long prayer sessions at gurdwaras and remained glued to the TV sets on Saturday.

In the morning, people from all religions congregated at a gurdwara, just as the operation commenced. West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee sent a bouquet, along with a get-well message, to Dr. Singh through the State government’s New Delhi office.

Feeling better

Pritam Kaur, younger sister of Dr. Singh, told The Hindu that she was feeling better after receiving news of the successful surgery.

“Not only at our place of worship, the gurdwara, but all through the day I have had a prayer for my brother on my lips” she said in a soft voice. The family is staying glued to the television sets tracking every development at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, where Dr. Singh underwent surgery.

Ms. Kaur said, “I spoke to Bhabi-ji (sister-in-law) for a short while this morning and again with his daughter after surgery.” One of the brothers had already reached Delhi, she said.

Pritam Kaur and Govind Kaur (eldest sister) stay with their families at Behala in the southwestern part of the city. Pritam Kaur’s son Kanwaldeep Singh said the entire extended family had participated in a two-hour prayer meeting at the Taratala Gurdwara close to their house in the morning.

Another visit to thank god

“We will go again to the gurdwara to thank God for the successful surgery,” Pritam Kaur said.

Dr. Singh’s other four sisters live in Amritsar and Kapurthala, in Punjab, while two brothers stay in Amritsar.

Pradip Bhattacharyya, Pradesh Congress working president Pradip Bhattacharyya said partymen had congregated at a gurdwara in south Kolkata, just as the surgery began in the morning. The congregation comprised people from all faiths including Hindus, Muslims and Christians.

“We prayed for his [Dr. Singh’s] successful surgery and early recovery. We want him back at the helm fast.” The Sikh community, which has a sizable presence in the city, got together at various gurdwaras praying for a long life to Dr. Singh.

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