An American author Dr Theodore Seuss Geisel said, “Why to fit in when you were born to stand out!” I feel this applies to Navjot Singh Sidhu as he received an invitation to attend the ceremony at Kartarpur from Pakistan even as the Congress party sidelined him by not including his name into the delegation.
Normally, when a political party decides to ‘neglect’ any of its important or lesser-known or popular leader their heartbeat suddenly gets a little faster, their throat begins to slowly constrict, the shoulders tighten, thereby leading to a swift rise in unbearable tension.
Sidhu might have been passing through these unusual conditions after learning his name was omitted from the prepared list of delegates to be sent to Pakistan in the month of November this year. How would he have been able to say ‘Thoko Taali’ at this point? Besides, several questions would have been arising in his turbulent mind in such a difficult situation: Is the Congress party’s decision quite ethical? Can he tolerate it? Should he just think of resigning from the party?
As the chorus of jeers and jabs for Navjot Singh Sidhu followed him ever since he had visited Pakistan, it now appears to have been reportedly stopped with the sheer exclusion of his name from the list of the party’s delegation set to move to holy Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara next month. Somehow this switch seems to reflect the current mood of the party’s bigwigs.
Kartarpur is located on the right bank of the river Ravi, in a town in Shakargarh Tehsil of Narowal district coming under Pakistan’s Punjab province. It is said to have been founded by the first Guru of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, where he established the first Sikh commune.
Sidhu would have been pondering over the party’s decision as to why such news floated. He did say that he hailed the decision of opening the corridor by the neighbouring country with a clear mind. At this time since he was pretty sure that he had not done anything unlawful in his individual capacity, this very news would have certainly disappointed him owing to the party’s open and clear rejection.
However, he is still probably not free from the discomfort suddenly came upon him. Altogether he was very worried about the party’s handling. He was undoubtedly capable of putting on a brave face. Could he go to the extent of resigning from the party as his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu had already done recently?
However, Sidhu has been invited for the opening ceremony of the corridor linking the two antagonistic countries. He received an invitation from Pakistan PM Imran Khan over the telephone inviting him to be present at Kartarpur on November 9. His visit last year to Pakistan invited enough criticism especially by his political opponents and his own party leaders. Standing firm on his stance in the face of barbs, he kept himself firm on peace between the two countries.
However, he has reportedly accepted Imran Khan’s invitation to take part in the opening ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor on the fixed date. He even said, “The Kartarpur Corridor agreement sends a positive message to millions of Sikhs around the world. Both the neighbouring countries (viz.), India and Pakistan signed an agreement to make the Kartarpur corridor functional in recent days.”
It was reported that Pak would charge no fee on the inauguration day. Also, the Sikhs coming for pilgrimage from India wouldn’t need a passport and would only be required to possess a valid Identity Card. They do not need to register ten days in advance as is the norm.