US Congress recognises Vaisakhi as creation of Khalsa

Washington D.C.[USA], April 5 (ANI): In a resolution in the first session of 115th Congress, the house of representatives on Wednesday recognised the day of Vaisakhi, a Sikh festival, as the creation of Khalsa in 1699.

The resolution was submitted by Congressmen John Garamendi and Patrick Meehan, who co-chair the American Sikh Congressional Caucus.

The resolution has come at a time when incidents of hate crime against the Sikh community are on the rise in the United States and the U.S. administration is apparently eyeing to create awareness to control such incidents.

The resolution said, "Vaisakhi is an annual Festival celebrating the spring harvest season and it is particularly significance to the Sikh religion and is one of the most important dates in Sikh History."

It adds, "for Sikhs, Vaisakhi commemorate the creation of the Khalsa, a fellowship of devout Sikhs by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699."

It is for the first time that the reference to the creation of Khalsa by the Sikh Guru has been made in the US Congress. Though the Vaisakhi celebration has been held in the premises of the White House but the recognition was first time endorsed in the House of Representatives.

Notably, the tenth Sikh spiritual master of the Sikhs Guru Gobind Singh founded Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib during a congregation on the occasion of Vaisakhi.

The Sikh Diaspora, which is concerned over the rising hate crimes due to the Sikhs' mistaken identity, hails the Trump government's move.

John and Patrick in the resolution stipulate the historic, cultural, and religious significance of the festival whereas Vaisakhi is celebrated in the Punjab region of South Asia for centuries and now it is also celebrated in communities throughout India, in the United States and around the world.

Vaisakhi is an annual festival celebrating the spring harvest season and is of particular significance to the Sikh religion and is one of the most important dates in Sikh history, mentioned the resolution.

Highest temporal seat of the Sikhs, the Akal Takht welcomed the move. Akal Takht Jathedar said that the Sikhs are indebted to the US Congress for the initiative.

American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (AGPC) President JS Hothi, Coordinator Dr. Pritpal Singh, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief Kirpal Singh Badungar also hailed the move.

Badungar said that the US had given respect to Sikh sentiments during the time when the community is facing trouble for which they are thankful to the US Congress.

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee President Manjit Singh GK said that it is a proud moment for the entire Sikh community.

JS Hothi and Dr. Pritpal Singh said that ``it is moment of pride and celebrations for the whole Sikh community and they are thankful to the US Federal government in general and house of representatives in particular for the initiative".

The AGPC also hailed Sikh Congressional Caucus which is a group of US Congressmen that work for the welfare and protection of the human rights of the Sikh community and said they appreciate the efforts made by the Caucus to submit the resolution.

The Friends of US Congressional Caucus head Harpreet Singh Sandhu also greeted the whole community on the upcoming festival of Vaisakhi and hailed the US Administration and US Congress for the move that has made the whole Sikh community grateful to US House and the government. (ANI)