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Lal Qila from a Sikh History Perspective and India’s Imperative to Unite the Nation
Lal Qila, Red Fort, Mughals, Sikhs, Hindus, Grievances
Lal Qila, Delhi, symbolizing the long-gone Mughal power, generates even today feelings of hurt and rage in the minds of Sikhs and Hindus. Of the two communities, Sikhs carry, perhaps more than Hindus, unresolved grievances against Mughal rulers. To them, Lal Qila is a frequent reminder of the atrocities that Mughal Emperors committed against Sikh Gurus and their followers as described in Part I of the article. Over the years, since Prime Minister Nehru chose it as a venue for his Independence Day address, Lal Qila’s political prominence has grown, prompting the Sikh community’s unresolved grievances against the Mughals. Further, over the decades, it has enraged Sikhs against Indian governments for failing to appreciate their sentiments and history. Those grievances are confronting India today, crying for their resolution. In part II, the discussion and recommendations section, the authors point out that since Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and others are integral parts of India, with religious and community histories of their own, molded by their intertwining and intersecting with each other, the Sikh grievances cannot be addressed in isolation from those of other communities. Therefore, the article makes several recommendations as to how India may address the unresolved grievances of Sikhs, as well as those of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and others embedded in their histories, thus ensuring a peaceful, secular, and democratic India. The article uses a combination of historical research methods, such as documentary, archival sources, and a literature review involving a critical interpretation of various historical and religious texts on Sikhs and Sikhism.
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