Some of the visitors with their passports & approved visas to travel to Nanakana Sahib
The American Sikh Council (ASC) is shocked at the callous and mean behavior of the Indian authorities in handling the preapproved Jatha which was headed to Gurdwara Nanakana Sahib, Pakistan to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Nanakana Sahib massacre which occurred on February 20, 1921.
Around 700 pilgrims which included Sikhs and some Hindus, all approved with proper visas were being led by Jathedar Harpreet Singhji of the Akal Takht. A huge celebration was prepared at Nanakana Sahib to celebrate this historic occasion with Sikhs flying in from across the globe.
One can only speculate that the reason for stopping the 700 pilgrims from going to Pakistan could be to insult the Sikhs visitors by a vindictive Modi whose dictatorial Farm Laws were being opposed by Sikh and Hindu farmers and by the vast majority of the public throughout India.
By continually putting up unnecessary hurdles, simply to harass and humiliate the Sikhs is a sign of immature leadership. Stopping a contingent of regular Indian citizens wanting to visit and pray at a particular house of prayer to commemorate a very historic event, with a sudden excuse of Covid-19, is unstatesmanlike. If there has been no concern by the Republic of India (ROI) about Covid-19 regarding the over a million protestors encamped around Delhi, then the Indian authorities should have been reasonable and allowed the approximately 700 Indian citizens to visit Nankana Sahib.
Without giving due respect and dignity to all the people who want to visit religious places as their right protected by law, instead of keeping the Farmer Laws protests a completely separate issue the government will only raise the ire of its people, making life difficult for everyone.
The American Sikh Council (ASC) prays that the ROI take the high ground and allows a smoother non-political process in mundane and neutral situations such as anyone wanting to visit religious or non-religious visits to neighboring countries. Harmony and peace can only come about when people from both sides can visit each other, commingle and trade regularly with minimal bureaucratic entanglements.