Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb issued proclamation to declare April 2019 as a “Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month” and the National Sikh Heritage Month. The Proclamation has assumed greater significance as it was issued at the time of 320th Sikh Baisakhi since founding of Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab (India) on March 30, 1699, according to a longtime Indiana resident and interfaith leader Kanwal Prakash Singh.
“We join in celebrating this enlightened message: “Being people of faith and created in God’s Immaculate image: May we imitate God’s boundless compassion, generosity, and forgiveness as an affirmation of spiritual lessons learned; serve Life with humility and joyous gratitude; honor our uncommon universal God-Spirit that showers blessings upon all, without limit and distinction,” said KP Singh.
“The purpose of the Sikh Heritage Month is an opportunity for the Hoosier Sikhs to spread awareness and greater understanding about the Sikh Faith, culture and traditions. This is the first year the Indiana Sikhs have received the Proclamation which also coincides with the 550th Guru Purab (Birthday) celebration of the founder of the Sikh faith, Guru Nanak Dev Jee who preached selfless love, peace, equality and dignity of all mankind,” said Chirjeev Kaur Oberoi (Sikh Satsang Program Coordinator; Board Member, Center for Interfaith Cooperation).
The Proclamation reads” The State of Indiana recognizes and acknowledges the holiest Sikh holiday Vaiskhi on April 14, 2019 as National Sikh Day and month of April as National Sikh Heritage Month.
“One million Sikhs are living in US and an estimated 10,000 Sikhs living in Indiana. The Sikhs have been living in US for over 100 year and Indiana for over 50 years. Indiana is home to about 3,500 Sikh-owned businesses and Sikhs provide significant contributions and continued service to out country.”
Leaders of various Gurdwaras and organizations were present at the Statehouse to receive this historic Proclamation on April 2, 2019. Among them were Sikh Satsang of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Sikh Educational and Camp; Cultural Society, Indianapolis, Gurdwara Shri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, Greenwood, Gurdwara Gur Nanak Darbar, Indianapolis, Sikh Society of Indiana, Indianapolis, Guru Nanak Sikh Society, Indianapolis, Gurdwara Jot Amrit Parkash, Fishers and Sant Prem Singh Seva Society, Indianapolis.
Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Christopher Creighton, State Legislative Director Joe Elsener made the presentation of the Proclamation.