A Sikh prayer opened the US House of Representatives’ session, a first in history. On Friday (local time), a Sikh granthi prayed before the House’s sessions got underway.
“We’re gathered here today for a really historic occasion. The House session began with a Sikh prayer today for the first time in the history of the US Congress. Giani Jaswinder Singh made the prayer offering. Therefore, this is a really wonderful event for the Sikh community, for the entire Sikh community around the world,” Sikh Coordination Committee East Coast media spokesperson Harjinder Singh said.
“We prayed for the members of this Congress who are working for the protection of the free world and all the Americans over here. We wish and pray for the whole of humanity as one race. So this was the message that was given. And so that’s really the universal message of Sikhism” he said
The creation of a new Congressional Caucus to defend the rights of Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains living in the US was announced by Indian-American Congressman Shri Thanedar on Friday.
The Caucus seeks to clear up cultural misunderstandings and advance peace and harmony across the various faiths. It sponsors programs aimed at advancing the empowerment, education, and well-being of Americans who identify as Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, or Jain.
More than 27 US lawmakers have endorsed the newly established Caucus, which has the support of both Republicans and Democrats.
Thanedar remarked in his speech at the Washington, DC event: “I am profoundly honored to appear before you at this crucial juncture. We aren’t just coming together to start another caucus; rather, we are forming a movement that aims to promote acceptance, inclusion, and affirmative political action. a movement that advocates that everyone has a place in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, regardless of their religion, culture, or community.
“My name is Shri Thanedar and I am a proof of America’s diversity in Congress,” he added.
The US Congressman further said that the launch of the Caucus is a commitment to stand against religious discrimination, and cultivate a nation where diversity is not just “tolerated, but celebrated”.
The developments come amid a diplomatic row between India and Canada over the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.