Wednesday, January 23, 2013

HASC Recognizes Dharmic Community Inclusion at the Inauguration Prayer Service

What a historic day January 22 was for Sikh and Dharmic Americans! A Sikh American, Ms. Sapreet Kaur was included for the first time in the National Prayer Service held to pray for President Obama, the new Administration and the country.

At the National Prayer Service, we understood the messages that faith leaders expressed from all over the country. Mindful of the bickering in Congress, religious leaders urged Congress to bridge their differences and to work as one. The leaders conveyed the universal messages of compassion, tolerance and selflessness. 

These universal messages are valued by us Dharmic Americans.  It was only last year that the Sikh community witnessed a heinous crime. Over the past many years, they have been victims of hate crimes all over this country. Recognizing them at today’s National Prayer Service, served as a symbol of “American inclusion,” of those deeply impacted by prejudice and hate. The Service also served as a reminder to the country of our pluralistic nature.

Leaders from Dharmic and Hindu temples, gurudwaras and organizations at the Service prayed for the well-being of our President, Vice-President, our government, leaders and country. We at HASC continue to pray for the healing of our Sikh brothers and sisters and seek ways to address our collective social justice concerns and bring our dharma values to the forefront. We pray for our President, the Administration and the country to succeed in the many challenges we collectively face.

It was a moment of enormous pride that in 2009, for the first time, we heard the word "Hindu" from the President and this time at the inaugural in 2013, the word "Namaste".  And in 2009 a prominent Hindu leader was included at the National Prayer Service at the President’s first inauguration.  This year, a Sikh leader represented the Eastern faiths. It is therefore a matter of pride that the Dharmic community was represented by Sikhs. Their inclusion was a historic moment for Dharmic Americans, for all Americans.

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