Sikhs In Jammu And Kashmir Welcome Minorities From Islamic Nations To Settle With Them7 July 2021
New Delhi: The Sikh community in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir have welcomed the Hindus and Sikhs from the neighbouring Islamic nations to settle with them in the valley post the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the repeal of Article 370. They made their aspirations heard louder when they recently proposed Home Minister Amit Shah to let the Hindus and Sikhs from the neighbouring countries live with them. 'We Kashmiri Sikhs welcome CAA and revocation of article 370 and we will be happy if Sikhs and Hindu community members coming to India from any part of the world can stay with us,' said Perwender Singh, spokesperson of Kashmir-based All Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (ASGMC) during a recent meeting with the home minister. Not stopping at just welcoming the minorities from abroad to settle in the valley, the Sikh body also assured them to extend any kind of help so they could be financially independent and set up their own businesses etc. 'We will ensure they are provided everything they need including starting of their livelihood,' he said. Singh was part of a 13-member delegation of Sikhs from the valley that met Amit Shah on July 4 in Delhi. Notably, on August 5, 2019, the President of India had promulgated the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019 which abrogated the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir under the provisions of Article 370. The enactment of CAA which is now being hailed by the Sikhs of the valley had earlier sparked some protests. The CAA provides Indian citizenship to the Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and other minorities who face religious persecution in the neighboring Islamic nations of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The spokesperson of ASGMC informed media that the Sikh delegation had also sought to declare the Sikhs of Kashmir valley as a minority community having its own Board and a Chairman from the community. 'We are only 1.5 lakh left with 60 thousand registered voters from Sikh community which is spread across six districts and 135 villages and the community manages 135 historical gurdwara's,' said Perwender Singh. To bring the desired changes, the Sikh delegation has also suggested the Home Minister to appoint someone belonging to their community as the advisor to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Jammu and Kashmir. 'Appointment of a Sikh advisor to LG will accelerate the present system and the Sikh's causes will come to the knowledge of LG,' he opined. The Sikhs of the valley have also desired to rename Awantipora Airport as Baba Guru Nanak Dev Airport. The airport is in close proximity to Gurdwara Mattan Sahib where Sikh's first master Guru Nanak Dev had stayed.