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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have become the first top leader to serve in the community kitchen – or langar – of the Sikh holiest shrine of the Golden Temple in Amritsar last Saturday, but in November 2009 the then Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper during his visit to the shrine had even refused to accept the prasad offered to the devotees.
After paying obeisance at the Golden Temple when Harper was offered the prasad or holy offering , but he refused to accept it.
The Canadian PM was following his accompanying aide Alisa Mohammed who had just refused to accept the prasad. Harper’s behaviour had angered the temple management, with one official putting on record that, “It is for the first time that we have suffered such humiliation at the hands of a foreigner in our own office.”
On the other hand, Modi last week became the first top leader to serve at the langar at the Golden Temple even though most Indian Prime Ministers have visited the Sikh holiest shrine – some many times.
But `Modi is the first prime Minister who served the devotees in the Golden Temple,” according to Gurbachan Singh, who is the chief information officer at the Golden Temple.
Modi, who was in the city for the 6th Heart Of Asia-Istanbul conference on Afghanistan, took time off to visit the Golden Temple along with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani.
Modi spent about 4o in the Golden Temple where over 100, 000 partake of langar each day.