By Arré Bench Jun. 10, 2020
A New York Times article has shed light on the Sikh community's support of #BlackLivesMatter protesters. A gurudwara in Queens has served more than 500 meals to demonstrators, and many more during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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.
Heartened to see members of the Sikh community distributing food & beverages in Queens, New York in remembrance of George Floyd.
— Harjinder Singh Kukreja (@SinghLions) June 4, 2020
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.”
— Swadeshi Vichar (@DV99999) June 9, 2020
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.”
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.
Donate https://t.co/TNjM0NpyuK#UNITEDSIKHS #COVID19 #CoronavirusNewYork pic.twitter.com/l7EwsKOndT
— UNITED SIKHS (@unitedsikhs) March 23, 2020
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.
Something that I think is really striking about the Sikh community's participation in #BlackLivesMatter, is that after 9/11, a lot of Sikh men bore the brunt of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the U.S. This fight is everyone's fight. https://t.co/Owgt1EWIWH
— durrie bouscaren (@durrieB) June 10, 2020
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.”
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.https://t.co/vHJggiz8O3
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) June 9, 2020
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.