Bipartisan resolution introduced to recognise contributions of Sikh-Americans to US

WASHINGTON: A bipartisan group of half a dozen US lawmakers has introduced a resolution in the Congress recognising the significant contributions of Sikh-Americans to the country.

Observing that Sikh-Americans distinguish themselves by fostering respect among all people through faith and service, the resolution said it recognises the discrimination that they have faced in the US and around the world.

It also observed that Sikh men and women have contributed to American society since their arrival in the late 1800s.

“They pursue diverse professions that add to the social, cultural, and economic vibrancy of the US, including service as members of the armed forces, and making significant contributions to our great nation in agriculture, information technology, small businesses, the hospitality industry, trucking, medicine, and technology,” the resolution stated.

Sikh-Americans, like Bhagat Singh Thind, served in the US military during the World Wars and the first Asian American Congressman, Dalip Singh Saund, was a Sikh American elected to office in 1957, the resolution said.

“I’m proud to have introduced the first-ever resolution in the United States House of Representatives honouring the significant contributions Sikh-Americans have made to our country and American culture,” Congressman TJ Cox, Vice-Chair of the American Sikh Congressional Caucus, said.

Today, the influence of Sikh-Americans is reflected in every facet of American life, including the Central Valley’s agriculture industry, he said.

Besides Cox, the resolution was co-sponsored by Congress members John Garamendi, Haley Stevens, Ted Yoho, and Zoe Lofgren.

The Sikh Coalition said resolutions like this were a key part of its ongoing efforts to engage elected officials.

“Raising awareness on the contributions of Sikh-Americans as well as the cultural and historical significance of our religion is a critical component in the larger fight to ensure our civil rights are protected and respected,the Sikh body said.

The Sikh American Legal Defence and Education Fund said, “We sincerely appreciate Congressman Cox’s efforts in recognizing the Sikh-American community and its contributions to this great nation.”

There are close to 500,000 Sikhs living in the US and about half of this population resides in California.

Sikh Americans have worked on farms, lumber mills, mines, and on the Oregon, Pacific, and Eastern Railroads.