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Dark phase for Sikhs a thing of the past: PM

Manmohan Singh said the future of the community would be intimately linked with development of the country.

india Updated: Jan 12, 2006 23:11 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said the "dark phase" when attempts to wean away Sikhs from the mainstream was a "thing of the past" and the future of the community would be intimately linked with development of the country.

In a veiled reference to the militancy in Punjab, he said "it was a trying period in eighties when some people tried to wean away Sikh community from the mainstream".

But "it is a great tribute to the people that dark phase became thing of the past and the Sikh community regained the confidence", Singh said after releasing the "Illustrated History of the Sikhs" written by Khushwant Singh in New Delhi.

Noting that history of Sikhism is a story of exceptional heroism and Sikhism and patriotism mingled together, the Prime Minister said "I cannot think of a future of Sikh not intimately linked with growth and development of our country".

There is clearly a place for Sikhs in any part of the country whether in Assam, Bihar, Maharashtra or Jammu and Kashmir and every bit of the soil of the country has been blessed by the feeling of the Sikh gurus, he told the gathering including Union Minister Kapil Sibal, eminent jurist Fali Nariman and noted writer Kuldip Nayyar.

First Published: Jan 12, 2006 23:11 IST