Breaking from tradition, Modi set to become the first PM to address nation from Red Fort after sunset
New Delhi, Apr 19: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation from the Red Fort on Thursday night to mark the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the first prime minister to deliver a speech at the Mughal-era monument after sunset.
Modi will be addressing the nation from the lawns of the Red Fort and not its ramparts.
The fort was chosen as the venue for the event as it was from here that Mughal ruler Aurangzeb had given orders for the execution of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru, in 1675, according to officials of the culture ministry.
The ramparts of the Red Fort is from where prime ministers addresses the nation on Independence Day.
Prime Minister Modi will speak at 9.30 pm on Thursday and his speech will be about interfaith peace and harmony among communities, according to the officials.
Other than Independence Day, this is the second time that Modi will be making a speech from the monument.
In 2018, he had hoisted the national flag at the monument and commemorated the 75th anniversary of the formation of the Azad Hind Government by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. His address on this occasion was at 9 am.
The Thursday event will have performances by 400 Sikh musicians and there will also be a langar. Modi will also release a commemorative coin and postage stamp to mark the occasion, the officials said.
Close to the Red Fort, is the Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib in Chandni Chowk. It was built at the site where Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded by the Mughals, they said, adding that Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib, which is near Parliament, was built at his cremation site.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday will start off the event, which will be attended by 11 chief ministers and prominent Sikh leaders from across the country. The families of 400 Sikh 'jathedars' have also been invited, including those from the Golden Temple in Amritsar.