YUBA CITY (NEWS): A bill introduced in the California assembly last month to seek introduction of Sikhism in higher education curriculum has been approved the assembly appropriation committee.
The bill, called ACR 20, was introduced by Assemblyman Dan Logue of Yuba City on Feb 20. It was co-sponsored by assemblyman Henry T. Perea.
The bill aimed at recognizing the contribution of Sikhs in various fields as well as Sikh tenets of egalitarianism, equality of women, and tolerance of other religions.
Assemblyman Dan Logue presented the bill to the appropriations committee of the Assembly on March 19. Mayor Ruby Dhaliwal of San Jaoquin, Dr Jasbir Singh Kang of Yuba City and Prof Onkar Singh Bindra of Sacramento gave powerful testimonies in support of the bill.
After hearing them, Committee members unanimously approved the bill to proceed it to the full assembly for vote.
Introducing the bill in February, Assembly Dan Logue had said, “I am a proud supporter of the Sikh community which my district has the largest community in the United States in the Yuba-Sutter area. It’s about time that the California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC) system recognize the importance that Sikhism has as the world’s fifth largest religion.”
Prof Onkar Bindra and members of the Sikh community in California had lobbied hard for the bill.
Many organizations, including the Punjabi American Heritage Society of Yuba City and the Sikh Council of Central Valley, also whole-heartedly backed the efforts of Assemblyman Logue and Prof Bindra.
Prominent Sikhs who threw their support behind these efforts included Didar Singh Bains, Hardeep Kaur Singh, Gurjatinder Singh Randhawa, SiriPritam Kaur Khalsa, Matlesh K Ghuman, Harjit K Bajwa, Charanjit S Bath, Pashura Singh Dhillon, Nahar S Heer, Pal Singh Bindra, Miky Singh Hothi and many others. Lisa Kaplan of Natoma School Distract wrote a letter of support.
California is the first place in the US where Indian immigrants, mostly from Punjab, landed more than a hundred years ago. And Yuba City is the first place in the US where the community formed its major cluster.
Today, there are over 15,000 Punjabis, mostly Sikhs, in Yuba City which has a population of over 65,000.