Stephen Harper Symbolically Visits Sikh Temple in India

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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The Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, has visited one of the most sacred temples to the India’s minority Sikh population on Wednesday, in the Punjab region under limelight of local media.

This visit is timed just after a day, when Harper was warned by the Indian leadership to clean out any anti-India extremists taking refuge in Canada. The Indian government is spreading awareness of a small group of Sikhs that are supporting the creation of a separate state, Khalistan, within India. Harper replied to the Indian authorities by completely assuring that Canada stands for a “united India.”

This Wednesday, by his visit to a Sikh temple, Harper was trying to present a point that action of only some radical Khalistanis cannot represent all Sikh community. Harper was accompanied by his wife, Laureen, and an invited delegation of Indo-Canadians. Harper observed the ritual of wearing a scarf on his head and walking barefoot through the building, known as the Sri Keshgarh Sahib Gurdwara. He posed twice during his tour to have good press about him from the local Punjab journalists and some Indo-Canadian journalists who had travelled from Canada to cover the event.

Even though Sikhs are a very small minority of India, but they make up a considerable part of Canada’s Indo-Canadian community. A local government official, B.S. Ball, assured that entire Sikh community is extremely pleased that Harper had paid them so much respect by visiting their temple. Balli claimed that “they are very happy that the prime minister of Canada is here” and “they feel elevated by his visit over here. It’s a message about humanity. Brotherhood.”

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