post office may carry Indian American's name Dalip Singh
WASHINGTON, February 2 2005
A post office in the US may soon be named after Dalip
Singh Saund, the first Indian American to have been
elected to the US Congress, with the House of Representatives
giving its nod to a historic bill.
In a historic move, the house unanimously passed House
Resolution (HR) 120 by a voice vote on Tuesday. The
bill passed with a 410 to 0 vote.
It designates the US postal service office building
located at 30777 Rancho California Road in Temecula,
California, as the Dalip Singh Saund post office building.
Saund made history in 1956 when he became the first
Asian elected to the US Congress. He was re-elected
two more times and represented what was then the 29th
The bill will come into effect after it is passed by
the Senate and signed by President George W. Bush. It
is probably the first time a public building in the
US will be named after an Indian American.
"The 'Dalip Singh Saund Post Office Building'
will honour an American who followed his dream to the
United States, broke barriers, and served as a representative
of the people," said Rep. Darrell Issa, who introduced
the bill in the house.
"This Act of Congress will preserve Congressman
Saund's legacy and honours the success of all immigrants
from India and their accomplishments," said Issa,
a Republican from California's 49th district, a part
of which is the same as the district from which Saund
Saund represented Riverside and Imperial Counties from
1957 to 1963 before his career was cut short following
a stroke he suffered while campaigning for a fourth
term in office.
The bill had three co-sponsors including the former
co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus for India and
Indian Americans, Rep. Joe Wilson (Republican-South
Carolina), Rep. Joe Crowley (Democrat-New York) and
Rep. Ken Calvert (California).
Issa's spokesperson Frederick Hill said the Congressman
was approached by his Indian American constituents to
bring in the bill. "Issa thought naming a post
office after Saund would be a great way to honour the
former congressman," Hill said. "It can be
a source of pride for the Indian-American community."
Indian Americans here also made a failed bid to get
the post office to issue a stamp in Saund's name, especially
as the 50th anniversary of his being elected to Congress
approaches in 2006.
The bill will go over to the Senate, which is usually
quick to pass such bills, Hill said. It will then be
signed into law by President Bush.
Born in the village of Chhajulwadi in Punjab in 1899,
Saund came to the US in 1920 to study at the University
of California, Berkeley, where he earned a doctorate
in mathematics. For nearly 30 years he was a successful
farmer in Imperial Valley.
During this time, he began fighting discriminatory
laws against Indians and, in 1949, he and other Indians
finally earned the right to become US citizens. In 1952,
Saund was elected and served for four years as justice
of the peace in Westmorland, California. IANS
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