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Diaspora

Modi government assured about Sikhs’ safety in India, globally: American Sikh leader

Jassee Singh of the Sikhs of America organisation recently led a delegation to India where they met some of India’s top ministers. 

A Sikh man walks in the rain near the Guru Nanak Gurdwara, in Smethwick, near Birmingham, central England. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Twinkle Roy

JASSEE Singh, a representative of the Sikhs of America organisation, has said that the Narendra Modi government of India assured him that it is committed to the safety and security of the community in the country and globally.

He was recently in India along with a delegation and met the country’s home, defence and external affairs ministers.

In his meetings with the top Indian ministers, Singh said the delegation spoke about how the Sikh diaspora could help India and be part of its growth story. He lauded the Indian side’s response which he called positive and warm.

“We received a very positive and warm response. External affairs minister (Subrahmanyam) Jaishankar told us that the Indian government is committed to the safety and security of the Sikh community wherever they are in the world,” he said.

Read: Pro-Khalistan activist jailed for stabbings in UK last year

The discussions also featured the northern Indian state of Punjab — how it could be developed economically. “Punjab has suffered a lot during its militancy movement,” Singh said.

Refuting allegations by a section of the Sikh community in countries such as the US and Canada that they are targeted in India, the Indian-American Sikh leader told news agency Press Trust of India in Washington that the community has the same rights as any other citizen(s) of India even though they have their own issues.

Singh said the Sikh-American community is ready to help in the development of Punjab, and Amritsar in particular. Singh said the Sikh American community is ready to help in the development of Punjab and Amritsar in particular. He announced 100 scholarships for the youths of Amritsar. Sikhs of America has decided to adopt two roads of Amritsar for cleanliness.

Responding to a question, Singh congratulated former Indian ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, over his decision to join India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He said it was a good thing for the party.

Singh had hosted a grand farewell for Sandhu, who retired in January, in Washington.

The Sikh leader travelled to a number of places in India during his visit, including Indore in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, besides Amritsar and New Delhi, and was impressed by the zeal among the youth to do something. He also expressed satisfaction over India’s “all-round development”, particularly in the infrastructure sector and said people were excited about their country.

“What I saw among the youths of India was a sense of nationalism, a pride and an eagerness to do something. They are now getting opportunities as well,” said Singh.

“There is all-round development, in particular in the infrastructure sector including roads, railways and airports, and excitement among Indians about the country,” he said.

(With PTI inputs)

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