AMRITSAR: Narendra Modi is the first Prime Minister to have served langar (community meal) in the langar hall of Golden Temple in Amritsar.
On Saturday evening, Modi along with Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani visited the Golden Temple here where both the leaders stayed for about forty minutes.
During the visit to the holy shrine of the Sikhs, Modi took everyone by surprise as he suddenly told the leaders and officials who were accompanying him that he wanted to visit the langar hall. Modi, as he entered the langar hall in the Golden Temple complex, took a bucket from a sevadar who was serving a meal to the devotees and started serving the food to them.
“Modi is the first Prime Minister of our country who served langar to the devotees in the Golden Temple. We were caught by surprise as Modi saw devotees taking langar he went to the langar hall and started serving them langar, said chief information officer Gurbachan Singh.
He added that despite almost every Prime Minister paying a visit to the shrine to pay obeisance, nobody except Modi participated in the serving of langar.
In a separate development, Modi created controversy with the visit as he was wearing a cap inside the holy shrine. Some Sikhs raised objections saying that he should have covered his head with a piece of cloth or handkerchief as caps are not allowed to be adorned in the temple.
Clarifying over the issue, Singh said,” Non-Sikhs can wear caps at the holy shrine, Sikhs have to cover their heads with a piece of cloth if they have cut their hair.”
Despite heavy security and the thick cordon of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee task force, devotees got a chance to click selfies with Modi as he shook hands with the visiting devotees and also waved at the crowds.
Before Modi the other prime ministers who have visited the Golden Temple are Indira Gandhi, V P Singh, Chandra Shekhar, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, H D Deve Gowda, Inder Kumar Gujral and Manmohan Singh.