Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has stoked a controversy after he refused to cover his bare head inside a Gurdwara on Thursday evening. Nitish had gone to Bal Leela Gurdwara to inaugurate a six-storied rest house. Nitish was accorded a grand reception by the Sikh community at his visit to the Gurdwara but when the chief minister was requested to cover his head before entering the Gurdwara premises, which is a strict protocol in the Sikh community, Nitish flatly refused to oblige citing poor health as a reason. Nitish entered the premises without his head covered.
The Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee after the visit of Nitish had expressed its anger at the incident claiming that Bihar CM had disrespected their “Guru”. Sardar Charanjeet Singh, general secretary, Takht Sri Harminder Sahib Gurdwara Committee said, “Whoever comes to Gurdwara has to cover his head. Nitish should have covered his head. When he was asked to cover his head, Nitish said that he was unwell and could not cover his head. He, therefore, hurriedly inaugurated the rest house and left. It’s a violation of the Sikh community protocol.”
The opposition too got enough ammunition to criticise Nitish for his act. The BJP slammed him questioning his secular credentials. The party said that since Sikh community did not form a major chunk of Nitish’s vote bank in Bihar, he therefore did not care about hurting sentiments of Sikh community. Senior BJP leader Giriraj Singh, speaking to Headlines Today-Aaj Tak, said that had it been an event of the Muslims, Nitish would have very easily wore a skull cap. Charging Nitish of double speaking on issue of secularism, Singh demanded an unconditional apology from Nitish for his act.
Singh said, “Nitish is a person of dual character. He attacked Narendra Modi at one point of time saying that leaders have to don a topi and tilak at the same time. At mosques he has no aversion in wearing a skull cap and clicking pictures with Muslims but at Gurdwara he did not cover his head despite Sikh leaders asking him to do so. He is feigning secularism. Had Sikh been 15 per cent in Bihar he would have no problem in covering his head. Nitish is doing all drama. Nitish should apologise to Sikh community.”
Sikh community in Patna city area has claimed that the act of Nitish was in complete violation of the protocol and protested in the area on Friday.