NEW YORK: A resolution has been introduced in the California Assembly seeking the introduction of Sikhism in higher education curriculum.
North State Assemblyman Dan Logue, who has introduced the resolution, said last week, “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.”
California is the first place in the US where Indian immigrants, mostly from Punjab, landed more than a hundred years ago.
Named Assembly Concurrent Resolution 20 (ACR 20), the motion is 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.
If passed, the resolution would call on the University of California, California State University, and California Community systems to include Sikhism in their various world religion classes.
“The need for this resolution is especially important after the unfounded discrimination that many Sikhs have suffered in the past decade,” Logue added.
“More knowledge on their religious practices is the first step towards recognizing the valuable contribution that the Sikh community makes to this state every day,” the Assemblyman added.
The Assembly Higher Education Committee will have its first hearing on the resolution in March. If it is passed, it will pave the way for studies on Sikhism in California higher education curriculum.
Yuba City-based Punjabi American Heritage Society thanked Assemblyman Logue for introducing the resolution (ACR 20).
In a statement, the Society said, “Mr. Logue was also author of ACR 181 – a resolution which was unanimously passed by the State Assembly and recognized – November 2010 as Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month. We also like to thank Prof. Onkar S. Bindra for his tireless efforts to highlight the great need of inclusiveness in the state schools’ curriculum. Sikh American have been residents of California for over 125 years but their history and contributions remains unrecognized in the school and college text books.’’
There are about 15,000 Punjabis, mostly Sikhs, in Yuba City which has a population of over 65,000.