Prime Minister David Cameron visited Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Gravesend, Kent on Saturday, where he took part in the festival of Vaisakhi. In a 10-minute address to the worshippers present, Mr Cameron went to great lengths to describe his relationship with the British Sikh community. Below are some of the best quotes from the Prime Minister’s speech.
“I am the first British Prime Minister to have visited the Golden Temple, and that makes me so proud. The visit was intense and fascinating. I will never forget the tranquillity of that beautiful, peaceful place, or meeting the remarkable worshippers who call this temple their own.”
“What I saw in the Golden Temple, I see in British Sikhs day in and day out. Your devotion to God, just how hard you work, and the thing that is at the centre of everything that you do: community.”
“You can see it in our hospitals, in our schools, in our businesses all around the country: hard work runs through your veins, and the combination of hard work, courage, service and loyalty runs through your history, too.”
“I look back over the last five years of being a Prime Minister, and I think: who was there in the storms, helping people flooded out of their homes? It was British Sikhs. Who was there in the riots, protecting Gurdwaras, and Hindu temples and Mosques, too? It was British Sikhs […] Every single day, British Sikhs help make Britain great, and you prove one thing: our country is not just red, white and blue — it is orange,too.”
“We support you in your devotion, in your work, in your commitment to your community. We support you every step of the way. Remember that we were the ones who banned turban searches at airports, and who said that Sikhs could wear turbans at work. We’re the ones with Paul Uppal, the only serving Sikh MP, and with Ranbir Suri in the House of Lords, too. In 19 days, I’m hoping that Paul will no longer be the only one on the commons benches, because from Samir in East Ham to Suria in Wolverhampton, we’ve got some great Sikh candidates.”