“Sikh Community Is on the Side of Justice”: Gurudwara’s Support of #BlackLivesMatter Draws Praise

Social Commentary

“Sikh Community Is on the Side of Justice”: Gurudwara’s Support of #BlackLivesMatter Draws Praise

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

Whether it is villages in India after a flood, a tired crowd at a Delhi protest, those affected by the bushfires in Australia or the elderly handicapped by the coronavirus pandemic, the Sikh community has always been at the forefront of relief efforts.

The community once again came forward to support the #BlackLivesMatter protestors involved in the anti-racism protests after the murder of George Floyd by a white policeman. In a Facebook post, Kalgidhar Trust – Baru Sahib said, “Pandemic or Protests – Guru ka Langar is always there.”

As reported by The New York Times, the gurudwara in Queens Village has served more than 1,45,000 meals in just 10 weeks, with a volunteer group of about 30 cooks. Cooks wear gloves and masks, and the kitchen is big enough for workers to stand more than six feet away from one another.

Volunteers from the Queens centre served 500 portions of matar paneer, rajma chawal, kheer, and 1,000 bottles of water and cans of soda to demonstrators in Sunnyside. “Where we see peaceful protest, we are going,” said Himmat Singh, a coordinator at the World Sikh Parliament, an advocacy group providing volunteers for the Queens Village efforts, quoted in the NY Times article. “We are looking for justice. We support this.”

United Sikhs, a charity affiliated with the United Nations shared a video with a very heartfelt message, stating that, “According to Guru Sahib’s command, service is in their lap whom God makes his servant. It is a great service to put yourself in the forefront to serve others, regardless of your life in this tough phase.”

NPR journalist Durrie Bouscaren pointed out how a lot of Sikh men bore the brunt of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the US after 9/11, and that this was everyone’s fight.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal cheered for the community, tweeting, “As usual, the Sikh community is on the side of justice. As South Asians, it is crucial that we continue using our voices in the fight against anti-Blackness.”

While the world continues to battle on multiple fronts, whether it is the pandemic or systemic racism or discrimination within our borders, the Sikh community continues to do “God’s work” in the true sense. And more power to them.