Obama lauds Sikh Americans’ many contributionsBy Arun Kumar, IANS
Friday, November 19, 2010
WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama has lauded the “many contributions that Sikh Americans have made” in a message of “best wishes” to Sikhs on the birth anniversary Guru Nanak, the founder of the religion.
It is “an opportunity to recognize the many contributions that Sikh Americans have made to our nation, and to reflect on the pluralism that is a hallmark of America,” he said in a statement issued Friday.
“I send my best wishes to all those observing this extraordinary occasion,” Obama said.
“Sikhism’s principles of equality, service, interfaith cooperation and respect are principles shared by all Americans. As Sikhs celebrate the birth of Guru Nanak, people of good will everywhere can identify with his teachings on the equality of all humankind and the need for compassion in our service to others.”
The message came just a few weeks after he upset many Sikh Americans by announcing he was skipping a visit to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, one of their holiest shrines, during his trip to India.
White House officials said before Obama left for his trip that India is a “big country” and that there wasn’t enough time for the president to do everything “we’d like to do,” though Sikh groups in the United States were sceptical of their reasoning.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)