New Delhi: US-based businessman Darshan Dhaliwal, who was deported during farmers’ protest, said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologised to him in front of 150 people and said that he made a big mistake.
Dhaliwal was deported from the Delhi airport on October 23-24, 2021 for organising the biggest langar during the farmers’ protest. Now nearly two years later on January 10, 2023, he was conferred with Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award. He was recognised for his contribution in business and community welfare.
Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award is the highest honour conferred on non-resident Indians, persons of Indian origin, or an organisation or institution established and run by them.
PM Modi apologised to me: Darshan Dhaliwal
Speaking to The Wire after receiving the award from President Draupadi Murmu during the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, Dhaliwal said the conversation took place in April 2022 when PM Modi received a Sikh delegation at his official residence in Delhi. The meeting that Dhaliwal was referring to was called ‘Sadbhavana: A Gesture of Goodwill’ in April 2022, which was led by PM Modi and Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
“I was not troubled when I was deported during the farmers’ protest and I have nothing much to say even now. I am elated to have received such an honour. I have always remained with my community and will continue to serve them,” he said.
He claimed that PM Modi told him, “Hum se galti ho gayi thi jo humne aap ko wapis bheja, aap ka baddapan hai ki hamare kehne par aap phir aye [We committed a mistake by deporting you but you were gracious to accept our invitation).” He added, “PM Modi met me in front of 150 people at his residence.”
Recalling his deportation, Darshan Dhaliwal said that the immigration officials at the Indira Gandhi International Airport gave him two options. “I was told to either stop the langar and mediate with the farmers or go back,” he said.
Does Darshan Dhaliwal support farmers’ issue?
Speaking about his take on the protests, he said that he decided to help the farmers after seeing a video. He added that he was just doing social work even though the protests were political.
Dhaliwal said, “I was supporting the farmers for their stay and food. I was not for the law nor was I against them. I have got nothing to do with it.” He said that the protest was political and he only does social work.
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