NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday slammed the first Congress government in independent India for its inability to make Kartarpur Sahib as part of the Union during partition.The Kartarpur Sahib corridor, the ground breaking ceremony for which was recently held, would link Dera Baba Nanak Sahib in India to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib across the border.
The latter is considered to be the final resting place of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh faith.
Referring to the Kartapur Sahib corridor, he said now devotees do not have to look at the shrine in Pakistan using binoculars and they could visit the place without visa using the corridor.
"A mistake took place in August, 1947. It (the corridor) is an atonement of the mistake. An important place of our guru was only a few kilometers away. But it could not be made part (of India during partition)..the corridor is an effort to reduce the damage," he said in a veiled attack on the then Congress government.
Guru Nanak passed away in Kartarpur on September 22, 1539.
Interestingly, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was among the dignitaries in attendance at the event to commemorate the 350th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh guru. Former Chief Justice of India JS Kehar and several Sikh leaders were also present at the event.
Releasing a commemorative silver coin, of the denomination of Rs 350, at the event, the PM also came down hard on the Congress for the 1984 riots that took place following the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Guru Nanak is believed to have died in Kartarpur on September 22, 1539.
Modi said be it Guru Nanak or Guru Gobind Singh, they have taught us to be on the side of justice.
Following the path shown by them, the central government is trying to get justice for the people who suffered during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Modi said.
"The central government is making efforts to get justice for the period of injustice which started in 1984. For decades, mothers, sisters, daughters and sons have shed tears, the law will deliver justice, wipe (their) tears," the PM said referring to the riots that took place following the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi.
The PM released a Rs 350 denomination commemorative silver coin to mark the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh.
He described the founder of the Khalsa sect as a warrior and a poet who had immense knowledge of religious scriptures.
Modi said the government now plans to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak across the country.
Modi said while the event will be held various states and union territories, Indian embassies abroad will also organise programmes as part of the celebrations Guru Nanak was born on April 15, 1469, in Nankana Sahib, now Pakistan.
Modi said, for the last four years, his government has been making comprehensive efforts to bring the cultural and knowledge heritage of India to the world.
"From Yoga to Ayurveda, the country has succeeded in re-establishing its status. This work continues," he said.
(With PTI Inputs)