New Delhi: In honour of the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak, the Punjab government on Tuesday took over a massive brand building and invited 90 ambassadors from around the world to visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
The delegation was welcomed at Shri Guru Ram Das Airport, Rajasansi by state cabinet minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria.
Diplomats were flown from various countries including Australia, Argentina, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Korea, Kuwait, Israel, Myanmar, Maldives, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, Srilanka, and others, in a single special flight from New Delhi, along with Deputy Chief of US missions.
Union Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri, who undertook the preparations for the mission, said, “This is unprecedented and historic to be able to bring 90 Ambassadors, Heads of missions stationed in Delhi, to Amritsar. Many of them came here for the first time. People will learn the essential core of Sikh message that the world is one.”
The heads of missions also participated in ‘langar’ – a community kitchen religiously endorsed by the Sikh – at the Golden Temple, following which they were shown around special galleries depicting the Sikh history. The diplomats were also invited to witness traditional dance performances of the Sikh like Gidhha and Bhangra.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Afghanistan’s Chargé d’Affaires Tahir Qadiry said, “I think it was fantastic, I had heard about Amritsar especially in Bollywood movies but to visit and learn lessons about sharing and caring was really good. The people-to-people contact is something that should be done more in diplomacy.”
The visit was organised by the ICCR in collaboration with the Punjab government as well as Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandhak Committee as a part of the grand celebration of the Sikh leader.
The ambassadors were accompanied by Union Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) President Vinay Sahasrabuddhe.