Sikh Gurdwara (Acton Road) – Indianapolis, Indiana USA: May 4, 2014: Honorable U.S. Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R- IN, 5th District) visited the Sikh Gurdwara (Acton Road) on May 4, 2014. Congresswoman Brooks and was accorded a very warm reception by the Sikh community and friends. This was a historic first, the first visit by a […]
Sikh Gurdwara (Acton Road) – Indianapolis, Indiana USA: May 4, 2014: Honorable U.S. Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R- IN, 5th District) visited the Sikh Gurdwara (Acton Road) on May 4, 2014. Congresswoman Brooks and was accorded a very warm reception by the Sikh community and friends. This was a historic first, the first visit by a Member of Congress to a Sikh Gurdwara in Indiana.
In her prepared remarks, Congresswoman Brooks paid tribute to the central Indiana Sikh community and assured the gathering of her commitment to address major Sikh concerns: their opportunity to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces with the faith-mandated articles of faith; the unacceptable racial profiling of Sikhs at the U.S. Airports and incidents of workplace discrimination and harassment due to Sikh appearance with their articles of faith; the continuing unprovoked violence and hate crimes against the Sikhs and other ethnic minorities, especially since 9/11, due to unfounded stereotyping and issues of mistaken identity. The bullying of Sikh children in schools and the need to introduce Sikh studies program in curriculums of Nation’s schools were brought to the attention of Congresswoman Brooks.
We were greatly impressed by Congresswoman Brooks’ candor, friendliness, knowledge of Sikh American concerns and her willingness to support their commitment and struggle to discover a rightful place for their faith, culture, and community in America. Congresswoman Brooks was honored by Giani Pritam Singh and Maninder Singh Walia with the traditional Siropa (Sacred Scarf) and a beautifully-illustrated book: The Sikhs.
Congresswoman Brooks honored The Sikh Satsang with an American flag that was specially flown over the U.S. Capitol. Congresswoman Brooks participated in honoring Jasvir Singh Lalli, past President of the Sikh Satsang; in informal discussion with the Sikh leaders following her remarks in the Sanctuary (see below the full text of her speech); and graciously partook the traditional Langar (vegetarian community lunch) in the Gurdwara Library.
Ms. Brooks is a Member of Indiana Delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congresswoman Brooks has an impressive resume, with vast public and private sector experience, family values and leadership qualities that put her in the special class of an outstanding representative of Indiana and the interests of all Hoosiers. “…she currently serves on the Education and the Workforce, Homeland Security and Ethics Committee. She is also the Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications.”
Congresswoman Brooks sees public service as a noble profession and is attentive to the concerns of her constituents. Most recently, Congresswoman Brooks, at our request, added her name and voice to the Congressional initiative to allow Sikhs with their faith-mandated articles the right to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and in other opportunities. Congresswoman Brooks promised her continued support and friendship in safeguarding the rights of Sikh Americans. Congresswoman Brooks deeply appreciated our commitment to enrich Indiana and our Nation with our heritage, talents, and strengths as proud Americans. This was another landmark memorable moment for the Hoosier Sikh Americans.
– by Kanwal Prakash Singh