Candle light vigil held in Sacramento to honor Pulwama victims

Indian Americans gathered at the Lakshmi Narayan Temple in Sacramento to pay respect to Indian paramilitary soldiers killed in Pulwama on February 14.
Indian Americans gathered at the Lakshmi Narayan Temple in Sacramento on February 20 to pay respect to Indian paramilitary soldiers killed in Pulwama on February 14.

Some 200 members gather at Lakshmi Narayan Temple, under the banner of the Indian Association of Sacramento.

In various ways big and small, the Indian American community is trying to show its solidarity with the victims of Pulwama terror attack that took place in India, on February 14, claiming 44 lives.

In Sacramento, California, on Wednesday, a candlelight vigil was held where 200 members gathered together to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers. Under the banner of the Indian Association of Sacramento, members of the community gathered at the local Lakshmi Narayan Temple.

They also held a peaceful protest.

RELATED: Meet Viveik Patel, the 26-year-old Indian American who raised nearly $1 million on Facebook to help Pulwama soldiers’ families (February 22, 2019)

The vigil started with the singing of Indian and US national anthems. Indian patriotic songs and bhajans floated in the air, with local singers Namrata Kemchandani and Meera Ramakrishnan singing the songs. There were also pictures of the fallen soldiers that were put up for people to pay their respects.

Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost was one of the guest speakers at the event. “Tonight I attended a Candlelight Vigil sponsored by the Indian Association of Sacramento — and stood in solidarity with my fellow Sacramento Region Citizens and together we recited a pledge that ended with… ‘We, the citizens of Sacramento, hereby pledge that we denounce the terror in any format, in any part of the world,” Frost said. “Honestly… Words don’t come close to expressing the sorrow. Tonight, I am reminded of how lucky I am to live in America, the land of freedom and opportunity. I am grateful that I feel safe in my daily life. I pray for our friends in Pulwama.”

Another speaker, Susan McKee, a member of the OCA Sacramento Board of Director, called for unitedly standing against terror.

Dr. Firdos Sheikh, who also spoke, said: “I wore the tricolor in honor of Indian soldiers. They continued to protect our country. While we were thousands of miles away. Scattered broken bodies broke my heart. How helpless to watch the innocent slain so mercilessly? Prayers. And heartfelt condolences. May peace consume every being. Across the globe.”

Other attendees included Sumati Rao, Consul (Community affairs, Information and Culture) at the Consulate General of India in San Francisco, and Easan Katir from the Hindu American Foundation.

One Comment

  1. For every unnatural death I feel pain, I feel great pain for the Indian soldiers killed in Pulwama as a 10% neutral person and I also feel stress and great agony for Kashmiri youths, many of whom Indian soldiers killed and maimed.

    But sorry that I can’t and don’t join you physically or in spirit in your “Candle light vigil” to honor Pulwama victims. Why? Because, it is one-sided, partisan support, and none of you questioned the reason why it happened. It does not mean that I support this killing or wish it happened again.

    What I wish is that you consider the cause of this tragedy and find out a solution.

    Your “Candle light vigil” and big talk denouncing “the terror in any format, in any part of the world” and called “for unitedly standing against terror” make no sense when you don’t talk why this terror and how to stop it peacefully by attending the grievances of the people who are waging this terror.

    Nobody loves terrorism and nobody is a terrorist when you do justice, respect peoples’ wishes and play fair game.

    Ask Indian government why they are in Kashmir and how Indian army is treating the Kashmiri people and what you have been doing if you were a Kashmiri with some self-respect.

    Finally, I ask Sue Frost and Susan McKee, if they ever thought how much their country did for democracy, peace and prosperity of Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria and now Venezuela in recent years and if they really know the whole history of Kashmir before they joined this “Candle light vigil”.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.