INDIANAPOLIS, IN – SikhsPAC hosted the “National Sikh Day” inaugural celebrations with the honorable Governor of the State of Indiana, Eric J. Holcomb at the Indiana State House in honor of the 318th anniversary of “Creation of Khalsa” by 10th Guru of the Sikhs Shree Guru Gobind Singh Jee in 1699, known as Khalsa, who is known as a created Warrior saint that volunteered as a solider to defend the unprotected.
(Governor Eric Holcom, First Lady Janet Holcomb with Khalsa)
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb delivered the keynote-featured address. ” I’m honored to celebrate National Sikh Day with my dear friends. We are so proud of the many contributions that members of the Sikh community have made to our state. The Sikh community has become a part of and it’s a thread in our fabric, in our State’s fabric. Sikhs are not just well-known around the world, they are home here in Indiana, as our families become one, it helps get the word out and promote that Indiana is not just open for business but we’re a great place, if not the best place to do business and to raise your family and to ultimately, permanently call Indiana home,”
Governor Holcomb went on to officially declare an executive order proclaiming April 14th as “National Sikh Day” and the month of April as “National Sikh Heritage Month”. “We are so proud of the many contributions that members of the Sikh community have made to our state,” Holcomb said as he profusely praised the contribution of the Sikh community in the all-round development of the State. ”
Recently the State of Indiana’s General Assembly passed an historic Sikh resolution on April 20, commemorating the anniversary of Creation of Khalsa as National Sikh Day, authored by Indiana State Senators Jack Sandlin, and Aaron Freeman who represent a sizable portion of Indiana Sikh residents who reside within their districts. The senate resolution stated “Recognizing and acknowledging the significant contributions that American Sikhs have made across the United States and in the State of Indiana on the occasion of Vaisakhi as National Sikh Day”
Complimentary ethnic Indian refreshments and lunch was served towards the end of the program. Sikh spiritual hymns, prayers, punjabi folk dance, and an award ceremony following remarks given by Indiana elected officials State Senators Jack Sandlin and Aaron Freeman.
After the Governor’s address and the subsequent award ceremony, DCL (Direct Connect Logistx, one of the fastest growing and third largest freight company) presented a donation check worth thousands of dollars to Jeff Cardwell founder for an Indiana based, nationally renowned humanitarian, non-profit organization People Helping People as an act of generosity and giving back to the community.
SikhsPAC founder and chairman Gurinder Singh Khalsa who is a local resident, entrepreneur, and national Sikh community leader said in his speech to the Sikh community, “It is time that the Sikh community increase its contribution to the country that they live,” said eminent community leader and successful businessman Gurinder Singh Khalsa at the event organized by the Sikhs Political Action Committee. “Today we need to stand to give because this country has given so much for the last 100 years,” Singh said. “We are all enjoying American dream. Now is the time to give back to this country, not for expecting something but for who we are, what we stand for,” he said.
National Sikh Day’s inaugural celebration is the summation of years of dedicated service by Sikhs who have provided significant contributions to American and Indiana communities. SikhsPAC is a non-partisan, political action committee headquartered in Indianapolis, whose mission is to work with members of all parties and faiths in pursuit of peace and greater understanding of Sikh religion and a diversity of cultures worldwide. Since SikhsPAC launched in the summer of 2016, the organization has lobbied state legislators to promote Sikh values of diversity, inclusiveness, equality and social justice. 10,000 Hoosier State residents are Sikhs, with 3,500 whom own or operate businesses within the real estate, retail, hospitality, transportation, and healthcare industries. Hoosier Sikhs are the fastest growing business community in Indiana contributing to the state’s unprecedented economic development. Sikhism is the fifth largest religion in the world with 30 million, including one million in the United States.
Last year Indiana Superintendent of Education Glenda Ritz announced the introduction of Sikh History in the state’s high school history curriculum by sending immediate text supplements until history books are republished. The newly elected Indiana Superintendent of Education Jennifer McCormick went on announced in her remarks she is committed to continuing her predecessors works in regard to expanding the introduction of Sikh history in high school as well as elementary and middles schools.
Former SikhPAC outreach coordinator Parvinder Nijjar became a valuable asset to the Attorney General of Indiana’s office who has been appointed as Deputy Attorney General of litigation by Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill due to her qualifications and credible work in the community. Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill congratulated Sikhs on the inaugural National Sikh Day. “It is exciting to see a group that recognizes its responsibility in taking part in enhancing the business environment of the State,” he said. “These are hardworking individuals who recognize that there is value in not just working their business but also engaged in the government and understanding the political process,” Attorney General Hill has expressed his continued commitment to addressing hate crimes and assaults targeting ethnic minorities.
United States Senator Todd Young, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, are among other legislative leaders and elected executives who supported Sikhs by sending National Sikh Day greetings on their public social media accounts. Indiana General Assembly members and local city officials are reportedly visiting Gurdwaras (Sikh place of worship) and regularly attending Sikh events. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department recently hired policeman Mittan Katoch who is the department’s first officer from the Sikh community in an effort reflect the communities they serve.
“Sikhs are committed to selfless service and National Sikh Day is a outstanding opportunity to show the state our unwavering commitment to serving our communities and countries by enlisting in the military, getting involved in law enforcement, participating in the political process by voting as well as running for offices and providing philanthropic gifts to charities who empower the poor or helpless, educate the youth, and promote health and wellness for the greater good of our communities” said Khalsa. SikhsPAC is a valuable physical and financial resource inspiring emerging leaders at local, state, and federal level. National Sikh day celebrations will continue later in the evening. The City of Fishers, Indiana a suburb of the Indiana’s capital city, Indianapolis, also hosted an event similar to the festivities. The Mayor of the city of Fishers was the keynote-featured speaker and also executed a Sikh proclamation for National Sikh Day in the city.