Pictures by Maninder
KENNEDY VISITS INDIANAPOLIS SIKH TEMPLE
We were very excited to recently welcome Ms. Melina Kennedy,
a local attorney and former Indianapolis Deputy Mayor under
Mayor Bart Peterson, now running for the office of Prosecutor
of Marion County, to The Sikh Temple on Acton Road in Indianapolis.
Ms. Kennedy attended the worship service and stayed for the
traditional Langar (community meal). Ms. Kennedy was accompanied
by her friend and advisor Ms. Sarah Riordan.
Ms. Kennedy was welcomed by the Harpreet Sandhu, President
and Maninder Walia, the Trustee of The Sikhs Satsang of Indianapolis.
Giani Pritam Singh, the head Granthi (priest) of the Satsang
(congregation) presented Ms. Kennedy with a traditional Punjabi
shawl following her remarks to the congregation of several
hundred in attendance. KP Singh introduced the special guest
and gave an overview of the Sikh faith, tradition, and the
universal spirit of equality, justice, and basic dignity of
all living beings and sanctity of all faiths as enshrined
in the Sikh sacred scriptures, Guru Granth Sahib.
(L to R) Narvinder Bhola, Kulbir Singh, Melina Kennedy, Baljit
(L to R) Narvinder Bhola, Melina Kennedy, Sarah Riordan, KP
Melina Kennedy sitting in the congragation at the Sikh Temple
Ms. Kennedy's gracious and thoughtful remarks, displayed
uncommon cultural sensitivity and openness of spirit, friendliness
and willingness to interact with members of the Sikh congregation
greatly impressed the audience. She was very reassuring that
all communities and the changing and emerging fabric of diverse
cultures and faiths matter and represent a rich asset to the
Hoosier State. Ms. Kennedy added that for her public service
is about serving all people, contributing to their safety
and well-being, and creating and providing equal opportunities
and protection under the Indiana laws and the U.S. Constitution.
Melina Kennedy receives Shawl from Giani Pritam Singh, Harpreet
Sandhu in the background
(L to R) Melina Kennedy in the Temple Langar Hall
A Prosecutor as a law enforcement leader over 168 deputies is
responsible for the prosecution of all crimes in Marion County.
Ms. Melina Kennedy promised to wage an aggressive war against
crime and especially target the worst of the worst and keep
them off the streets of Indianapolis and Marion County and strengthen
and support community policing efforts. The Mid-term U.S. election
are traditionally set for the first Tuesday in November.
visit of Ms. Kennedy and other distinguished leaders is especially
important in light of horrific events of 9/11 that have caused
special hardships to Sikh Americans, Middle Eastern Arabs,
and Muslims living in many American cities. We consider such
visits and contact as a vital component of community building
and discovering our own individual and collective potential
as Sikhs settle in their new environment.
(L to R) Melina Kennedy, KP Singh, Avtar Singh
The leadership of the Sikh Satsang has been working
very hard to build new briges to the larger community, closely
work with other faiths, schools, civic leaders, and interface
our activities with other organizations for the greater benefit
of the Sikh Americans and all Hoosiers. The focus of this
effort is learning and education: to know and understand community
resources, civic responsibilities, and our rights as Sikh
Americans; dispel ignorance, stereotypes and unfounded perceptions;
address mistaken identity, harassment, and job discrimination
issues; and encourage Hoosier Sikhs to mainstream our own
energy, talents and investments. Sikh Americans are beginning
to understand that we need to be on the frontline of this
effort to be responsible and informed Americans and citizens
of the countries where we live. Sikh Americans are engaged
in many imaginative and innovative ways to assure their rightful
place and are creating opportunities to serve the lands and
communities that are their new "home" and enhancing
the cause of peace and goodwill towards all as an affirmation
of their faith, tradition, spirit and culture.
Kanwal Prakash "KP" Singh
Indianapolis, Indiana USA