Indian envoy asks diaspora youth to connect to their roots, culture

Suggests that gurdawaras in US could help new immigrants with basic consular services

By Surekha Vijh

Indian Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu has advised Indian diaspora youth in the United States to connect with their roots and culture by visiting historic sites as also learn about Indian success stories in sectors like IT.

Sandhu made the suggestion during a meeting on July 22 with members of the World United Guru Nanak Foundation (WUGNF) USA, who had met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on the occasion of Sadbhavna Diwas and celebration of Guru Teg Bahadur’s 400th birth centenary.

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The delegation members expressed their deep appreciation for the phenomenal work being done by Sandhu in promoting US-India relations and said he makes all Sikhs proud and represents what every Indian can achieve through their hard work and competence.

Sandhu expressed the importance of education and knowledge partnership in India-US bilateral relations and recalled the work done by great Sikh leaders in promoting education in India.

The ambassador said that he looked forward to India Diaspora youth being connected to their roots and culture and suggested they visit historic and religious places like the Golden Temple.

Read: Indian diaspora luminaries celebrate 75 years of US-India relations (April 15, 2022)

They should also visit such places as Hyderabad and Bangalore, where diaspora youth can learn about the Indian success stories in the IT sector, he said promising the embassy’s all possible support for their travel and safe stay in India.

This will open their eyes and expose to them the reality of the negative propaganda being done by those handful of anti-India elements who are supported by inimical forces, Sandhu said.

Sandhu also suggested that Gurdawaras could work in coordination with the embassy to provide help in consular services like filling up the application forms and understanding the rules, regulations and procedures.

Since many people who come from Punjab have difficulty filling up the forms and understanding the language and other basic things required in the new country, he said. Such a service in the true spirit of Sikh tradition would be of great help for diaspora.

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Gurdawaras can have computers and office space to help all, especially the new immigrants, while they partake in seva, (service) and langar (community meals).

WUGNF general secretary Dr Surinder Singh committed to help in these initiatives to help Indian diaspora and exposing the inimical forces targeting India.

Recalling their meeting with Modi, WUGNF president Gurcharan Singh said, that the Prime Minister had called the Sikh tradition a living example of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’ — one India, great India — and that the Sikh community has become synonymous with the national spirit of courage, prowess and diligence.

Modi recalled that the Sikh Gurus spent their entire lives uniting the nation and left their imprints all over India, from Gujarat to Bihar, Singh added.

“India’s history is incomplete without the mention of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s contributions, Sikh struggles against the British and Jallianwala Bagh tragedy,” Modi said saluting the Sikh spirit of service and enterprise.

Read: Indian Ambassador in US Taranjit Sandhu interacts with White House fellows (July 2, 2021)

India’s rising stature made diaspora the proudest and opened new horizons for them as the world viewed them with greater respect, he said.

Gurcharan Singh said he had requested Modi to open a Sadbhavna center in each country to bring all communities close. This would enable them to celebrate Indian festivals, strengthen language, culture, traditions and rituals.

The delegation included WUGNF chairman Amar Malhi and a visiting Indian industrialist Amarjit Singh from Delhi.

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