Washington DC [US], September 30 (ANI): In a historic first, the session of the US House of Representatives began with a Sikh prayer.
A Sikh granthi offered prayers before the commencement of proceedings of the House on Friday (local time).
"Today we are here for a very historic event. Today for the first time ever in the history of US Congress, the House session started with a Sikh prayer. Giani Jaswinder Singh offered the prayer. So, this is a very, very happy occasion for the Sikh community, for the whole global Sikh community..."the media spokesman of Sikh Coordination Committee East Coast Harjinder Singh said.
"We prayed for the members of this Congress who are working for the protection of the free world and all the Americans over here. We wish and pray for the whole of humanity as one race. So this was the message that was given. And so that's really the universal message of Sikhism" he saidIndian-American Congressman Shri Thanedar had on Friday launched the formation of a new Congressional Caucus aimed at protecting the interests of Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains living in the US.
The Caucus aims at addressing cultural misunderstandings and promoting interfaith dialogue and harmony. It supports initiatives to promote Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Jain Americans' well-being, education and empowerment.
The newly formed Caucus has bipartisan support from both, Republicans and Democrats, and more than 27 US lawmakers have supported it.
Addressing the event in Washington DC, Thanedar said, "I am profoundly honoured to stand before you at this pivotal juncture. We are not merely congregating to initiate another caucus, we are assembling to pioneer a movement, one that strives for understanding, inclusion, and affirmative policy actions. A movement that says every faith, every culture, and every community has a place in America, the land of free and the home of the brave".
"My name is Shri Thanedar and I am a proof of America's diversity in Congress," he added.The US Congressman further said that the launch of the Caucus is a commitment to stand against religious discrimination, and cultivate a nation where diversity is not just "tolerated, but celebrated".
The developments come amid a diplomatic row between India and Canada over the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. (ANI)