A woman was reportedly denied entry to the Golden Temple in Amritsar for having a tricolor painted on her face. The incident sparked controversy and debate about the right to express national pride within a religious context.
Here is what we know about the incident so far.
Details of the incident
According to reports from Times of India, the woman had come to the Golden Temple after witnessing the flag-lowering ceremony at Attari and had painted the tricolor on her cheek.
A video shows the woman and a man arguing with a sewadar (temple employee) who reportedly refused to allow her to enter the temple.The sewadar allegedly objected to the woman using the word "bakvas" (meaning nonsense) and stated that this was Punjab, not India.
The woman and the man argued that the Golden Temple is a symbol of the nation's unity and that the tricolor represents India's national identity.
SGPC issues clarification
The SGPC (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee) general secretary Gurcharan Singh Garewal stated that Sikhs had always been at the forefront of India's freedom struggle and had made significant sacrifices to attain independence. He also mentioned that the use of three colors resembling India's national flag does not necessarily mean that the employee in question had insulted the national flag.
"This is a Sikh shrine. Every religious place has its own decorum...We welcome everyone...We apologise if an official misbehaved...The flag on her face was not our national flag as it didn't have Ashoka Chakra. It could have been a political flag," Gurcharan Singh Grewal, SGPC General Secretary said on the viral video.
On the other hand, the general secretary of the Golden Temple apologized for the incident, stating that if anyone's feelings were hurt due to the behavior of an employee, he apologizes for the same.
(With ANI inputs)
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