Pakistan

SAN JOSE, CA (Staff Report)- Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to California.


Article continues after the advertisement

Congressman Garamendi delivered a letter to Modi and spoke on the need for religious inclusion in India.

Congressman Garamendi represents one of the largest Indian American communities in America, including a substantial Sikh population.

Many of his constituents are concerned about the right to freely practice their faith in India.

Garamendi said:  “I had the opportunity to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the Silicon Valley.

As a member of Congress and as the Co-Chair of the American Sikh Congressional Caucus, I represent a large Indian American population, including many Sikhs.

Many of my constituents are deeply concerned about the treatment of religious and ethnic minorities in India.

I am grateful that my position in Congress afforded me the opportunity to bring up these concerns to the leader of the world’s largest democracy.

Religious freedom and access to justice are rights we cherish here in America.  But these are not just American values.

We believe that everyone in the world deserves the same access to these fundamental rights.

All of India’s religious and ethnic minorities, including its substantial Sikh population, deserve to practice their religion and customs without government interference as long as human rights and individual conscience are respected.

I appreciate that Prime Minister Modi gave me the opportunity to discuss these critical issues.

Rest assured that he knows where I stand and that the message of my constituents was heard loud and clear.”

Harpreet Singh, a prominent Sikh leader in US and Executive Director Friends of the Sikh Caucus, Geramandi said that he discussed the issues relating minority communities’ safety with Modi.

“Religious freedom and access to justice are rights we cherish here in America.

But these are not just American values.

We believe that everyone in the world deserves the same access to these fundamental rights.

All of India’s religious and ethnic minorities, including its substantial Sikh population, deserve to practice their religion and customs without government interference as long as human rights and individual conscience are respected,’’ he said.

American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (AGPC) President JS Hothi and Coordinator Dr.Pritpal Singh meanwhile thanked Geramandi and other office bearers of the caucus for raising the issue of violence against the Sikhs in India with Modi.

“We appreciate that caucus is always concerned regarding the human rights issue of the Sikhs,” said Dr Pritpal Singh.

Another member of the caucus Jerry Macnerny also stated that he had met Modi to discuss issues that are important to my constituents and our country.

“As we become more and more globally connected through technological advancements, it is critical that we foster productive dialogue that boosts peace and prosperity around the world.

This is especially important when it comes to protecting human rights and civil and religious freedoms — the values of democracy that are the founding principles of the United States,’’ he said.