Dr Rami Ranger MBE, the Chairman of the British Sikh Association, is urging a section of the Sikh community to stay away from protest during the forthcoming visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to UK
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK as India’s Prime Minister is eagerly awaited. Some 60,000 British Indians will gather to welcome him at the Wembley Stadium on the 13th November to show their love for India and its Prime Minister.
This will be the biggest show of strength by NRIs anywhere in the world outside India. All in all, it promises to showcase India and Indian’s increasing confidence in the world as an emerging economy.
This huge reception will also be attended by the good and great of British public life. Glimpses of India’s culture and heritage will also be on display to entertain the audience and the entire event will be under the spotlight of the world media and Indians from all over the world will be glued to their TV sets.
No one should be surprised if some organisations who normally fail to attract audiences try to seizes this opportunity for attention. India being a large country with many languages, religions and cultures often find there is someone or the other who is not happy with some issue or the other.
Often it is not possible for a country the size of India to pander to the needs of a group or State in the wider interest of the country. I would like to urge to my fellow Sikhs not damage our image across the world by protesting at a time when over a billion of our fellow Indians will be rejoicing along with others in the world.
Our Gurus established the Brotherhood of the Khalsa and paid supreme sacrifices to uphold religious freedom in India for every Indian and not to embarrass India in any way.
As the PM’s visit will be under a massive media spot light it is paramount that the world sees the Sikhs in the light our Gurus intended us to be, the best amongst the rest.
Our fellow Sikhs will also be watching the event with keen interest from every corner of the world and as a result we must join in the celebrations and not become a spectacle.
Regrettably, the media loves to pay attention to negativity as good news is no news and we must not provide the media a field day with our actions. Our image is currently very positive in Britain and Prime Minister David Cameron loves us and wants to see a Sikh Regiment in the British Army and we must not scupper this.
Besides, those who are envious of Sikhs will deliberately show us in a bad light projecting us as a negative and separatist force. As ambassadors of our Gurus we have a moral duty that our actions and deeds never damage their image and respect in any way.
Nevertheless, it will be in line with the teachings of our Gurus to respect our democratically elected leader and not display our dissent against the choice of the masses.
I hope Sikh leaders will present a Seropa to Modi Ji on 13th Nov which will be witnessed by billions of people across the world as a statement that the Sikhs and India are one.
Regrettably, some members of our community have forgotten that Sikh Gurus were not just Gurus of the Sikhs or India but the world over as they advocated universal brotherhood of mankind.
Finally, I urge my fellow Sikhs who may be planning a protest during Mr Modi’s visit not to damage our image along with that of our Gurus with such actions and make some believe that we are separatists and our Gurus were just the Gurus of the Sikhs and not universal figures.
( Dr Rami Ranger MBE is the Chairman of the British Sikh Association.)