Washington: The US Senate has passed a first ever bipartisan resolution honouring Sikhs, including the more than 10,000-strong community members currently living in Indiana, and recognising the historical, cultural and religious significance of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism.
Introduced by Republican Senator Todd Young from Indiana and Democratic Senator Ben Cardin from Maryland, the first of its kind resolution on Sikhism was passed to honour Sikh Americans for their contributions and sacrifices. The resolution said Sikhs in the US and around the world live as per the values and ideals of equality, service, and devotion to God, first preached by Guru Nanak. Sikhism is a monotheistic religion and the fifth largest in the world. There are more than 25 million Sikhs across the world and almost a million live in the US. "This resolution honours Sikh Americans, a vital part of our Nation''s rich culture and diversity. Indiana is home to more than 10,000 Sikhs, and I am proud to introduce the first resolution ever introduced in the Senate in their honour. As the fifth-largest religion in the world, Hoosier communities are made richer by their contributions," Senator Young said.
The Senate resolution also mentioned four eminent Sikhs for their contribution to the US. The Sikhs figured in the resolution included Dalip Singh Saund, the first Asian-American Congressman, elected to the office in 1957; Dr Narinder Kapany, the inventor of fiber optics; Dinar Singh Bains, the largest peach grower in the United States; and Gurinder Singh Khalsa, the recipient of the prestigious Rosa Parks Trailblazer Award. The resolution also recognized the contribution of Sikh women Grammy-winning artist Snatam Kaur; New York Police Department police officer Gursoach Kaur; and University of California, Berkeley professor Supreet Kaur.
Indiana-based Khalsa welcomed the passage of the resolution. “This is a historic moment for the global Sikh community. We Sikhs of America are grateful to the United States Senate and Senator Young for introducing the resolution,' he said. A similar resolution introduced in the US House of Representatives too is likely to be passed soon.
The two different House resolutions said Sikhs have been living in the United States for more than 120 years, and during the early 20th century thousands of Sikh Americans worked on farms, in lumber mills and mines, and on the Oregon, Pacific, and Eastern Railroad. Congressman Greg Pence from Indiana, elder brother of US Vice President Mike Pence, is one of the sponsors of the resolution on Sikh.