Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said “bigotry is dangerous and love is its only antidote”, adding that Friday’s violence at Gurudwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan “must be condemned unequivocally”. His tweet came nearly an hour after Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal attacked him for not taking a stand on the issue and said it revealed his “anti-Sikh” face. The Congress leader has “no time to take on” Pakistan, she wrote.
“The attack on Nankana Sahab is reprehensible & must be condemned unequivocally. Bigotry is a dangerous, age old poison that knows no borders. Love + Mutual Respect + Understanding is its only known antidote (sic),” the Congress leader wrote on Saturday afternoon on Twitter.
On Friday, mob violence was reported outside the iconic shrine in Nankana Sahib, a town in Pakistan where Guru Nanak – the founder of Sikhism – was born. Hundreds of angry people reportedly surrounded the iconic gurdwara and threw stones, with devotees inside.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh sought Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s intervention, appealing him to help the devotees.
Khan soon came under fire when he tweeted a video and alleged police brutality on Muslims in Uttar Pradesh. The clip turned out to be a footage from 2013 in Bangladesh.
The government had condemned the violence at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in a statement on Friday night. “India strongly condemns these wanton acts of destruction and desecration of the holy place. We call upon the Government of Pakistan to take immediate steps to ensure the safety, security, and welfare of the members of the Sikh community,” the statement read. Islamabad, however, dismissed claims of desecration and said that scuffle broke outside a tea shop over a “minor incident”.
On Saturday, the issue took a political turn as BJP’s Harsimrat Kaur Badal targeted Congress’s Rahul Gandhi in a tweet, alleging he has no time to expose Pakistan.