News East West
NEW YORK: As Sikh Americans celebrate Vaisakhi, lawmakers across America have wished the community on the auspicious occasion.
The festival of Vaisakhi commemorates the creation of the Khalsa by the last Sikh Guru Gobind Singh on April 13, 1699.
In the US House of representatives, 13 members moved a resolution wishing the Sikh community a joyous Vaisakhi. Four cities in California – Fresno, Fowler, Selma and Livingston and Forth Wayne in Indiana also proclaimed April 13 as Vaisakhi Day.
Congressman John Garamendi, who sponsored the resolution with 12 other members, including Indian American Ami Bera, said, “I proudly represent one of the largest Sikh communities in the nation. For decades, we have confronted the challenges of California together, including education and our current drought.’’
The resolution said the Sikhs religion has “25,000,000 adherents from diverse back-grounds throughout the world, including 500,000 adherents in the United States’’ where they “pursue diverse professions and walks of life, making rich contributions to the economic vibrancy of the United States as farmers, engi- neers, doctors, scientists, and business owners.’’
Others co-sponsors of the resolution included Judy Chu, David Valadao Joseph Crowley, Doug LaMalfa, Eric Swalwell, Raul Grijalva (AZ), Sheila Jackson Lee, Dina Titus, Barbara Lee, Jackie Speier and Rush Holt.
Simran Kaur of the Sikh Coalition said, “We are grateful to the resolution sponsors for highlighting the important contributions of Sikh Americans to their communities in all walks of life.’’