Obama not to visit Amritsar due to headscarf?
US President Barack Obama will not travel to Amritsar during his next month`s visit to India due to "logistic" issues, informed sources said.
New Delhi: US President Barack Obama will
not travel to Amritsar during his next month`s visit to India due to "logistic" issues, informed sources said.
Obama, who will arrive in Mumbai on November 6, will
directly come to Delhi now after a day`s stay in the
commercial capital of the country. Earlier, he was to fly to
Amritsar from Mumbai for a brief visit to the Golden Temple.
It is not clear yet what "logistic" issues have
cropped up but there have been reports that Obama`s team was
facing a ticklish question of what the President should use to cover his head while visiting the Golden temple.
According to some reports, the White House team, which
visited India last month, had ruled out Obama wearing the
traditional scarf to cover his head, which they felt may
convey an image of him appearing to be a Muslim, a misinterpretation which the team would like to avoid.
Americans have not yet formally informed India about
this change but it is expected that they will do so in due
Meanwhile Akal Takht Jathedar Gurbachan Singh
said Obama should not skip the visit as he could visit the shrine covering his head with a
scarf or a cap, Gurbachan Singh told PTI, adding "the Sikh
community will extend a warm welcome to him."
Even a Punjab Congress leader asked Sikh leadership to find an ammicable solution to the issue.
"I strongly urge the Sikh Gurudwara Prabandhak
Committee (SGPC) to find an amicable solution to the problem
at the earliest so as to ensure that the visit is not
cancelled as this would be a great opportunity to take up
issues related to Sikh community in the US with Obama," S Kewal Singh Dhillon, Punjab PCC Vice President and
Whip of Congress Legislative Party said in Chandigarh.
As per Sikh tenets, every visitor to the Golden Temple
has to cover his or her head before entering inside.
Queen Elizabeth visited the Golden Temple in October
1997 covering her head with a hat.