On Protests by Anna Hazare’s Supporters at the Golden Temple
I have read with disquiet reports of an irresponsible and vulgar protest by Anna Hazare’s supporters at the Golden Temple, during a visit there by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The environs and precincts of the Golden Temple have been kept free of overt partisan and radical political activity and demonstrations since the defeat of Khalistani terrorism in the Punjab nearly eighteen years ago. Anyone familiar with the history of terrorism in Punjab would be aware of the enormous symbolism of the Golden Temple in the Sikh psyche, and of the latent risks of any political mobilization around this most hallowed of shrines.
The Prime Minister, moreover, was at the Temple on a private visit, and it is crude and offensive to have made him the target of a noisy and loutish campaign on this occasion and at this location.
The Golden Temple is, and must remain, free for unhindered access to all worshippers, irrespective of rank, caste or creed.
Whatever the merits or otherwise of Anna Hazare’s campaign against corruption, there are bounds of decency and responsibility that are being breached.
I condemn in the strongest terms possible the crude demonstrations against the Prime Minister at the Golden Temple by Anna Hazare’s supporters.