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Sikh delegates seek time to speak during Democratic convention

September 06, 2012 10:16 IST

More than 20 Sikh delegates from California want the party leadership to give them an opportunity on the stage during the on-going Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

The delegates from California are attending the Democratic National Convention, which has nominated United States President Barack Obama as its presidential candidate for the November elections.

"We have urged the party leadership to give us some time on the stage for prayer," said Resham Singh from California.

Sikhs in California, he said, have been a victim of hate crimes and mistaken identity in the recent years.

A presence on the stage would help them thank the entire nation and US President Barack Obama for the outpouring of national support in the aftermath of the Wisconsin  gurudwara shooting and tell the American people who they are and what Sikhism represents, said Singh.

"We have not heard from them yet," Singh said, hoping that the organisers of the convention would be able to squeeze in some time for them.

Singh's request comes in the aftermath of a Sikh offering invocation during last week's Republican convention in Tampa, Florida.

This is the first time that such a large delegation of Sikh delegates is attending the Democratic National Convention, said Harinder Kaur.

In all, 26 Sikhs were selected from California as delegates, of whom five of them could not attend, she said.

"It has been a wonderful opportunity to attend the convention," said Sarabjit Kaur Cheema, an elected School Board member in New Haven Unified School District.

Cheema, who has been attending a number of meetings on the sidelines of the convention along with other Sikh delegates, said that in all these meetings, people have been remembering the victims of gurudwara shooting.

"We are very thankful to the First Lady, who travelled to Wisconsin to meet the victims of the gurudwara shooting," said Kaur, adding that Michelle Obama recognised the Sikhs present in one of the meetings she addressed on the sidelines of the Democratic National Convention.

Lalit K Jha
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