Faith Forum About Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
January 20, 2013
Kanwal Prakash Singh/ Ramesh
According to KP Singh, this article- Faith Forum: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy was also published in THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR,
Indianapolis, Indiana USA on
January 19, 2013
Faith Forum: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy is not just that of an African-American seeking justice for his people; it’s also of a man of faith seeking justice for all people. In your tradition what is the responsibility for a leader to take action on behalf of the community.
Transformational figures like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. grace a community and our world once in generations. As a celebrated American civil rights and spiritual leader, a champion of non-violence, a powerful orator, and a fearless moral conscience of humanity, Dr. King captured our spirit with his divinely-inspired crusade to end injustice, demand of equal rights for African Americans guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. With an abiding faith in the righteousness of his cause, he led an unprecedented struggle against the entrenched bias and obstacles solely based on race. His triumph in leading people out of the darkness of racial discrimination in America since has transcended the frontiers of race and religion, cultures and nationality, and today stands as a living monument for others yearning to be free.
The responsibility of a Sikh leader is to know the foundations and history, commandments and traditions of Sikh faith introduced in the designated daily prayer-recitations: Oneness, unity, universality, and service. A leader must act within the lawful civic framework and honor the proclaimed reminder: “God is the Father and Mother of all Creation,” and “Recognize all humanity as One Race, One Brotherhood” as enshrined in Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh Holy Scripture), exemplified by the Sikh Gurus and celebrated Sikh martyrs.
These foremost commandments mandate a moral responsibility: to fight for equality, justice, human dignity, fundamental rights, not just for the Sikhs but also others, in affirmation of our common humanity. In time-honored tradition and with courage of conviction, conscience, and righteous defiance: defend the defenseless, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless; confront tyranny, oppression, and menacing inhumanity. For “peace and goodwill for the entire Creation” to become reality, we must honor the sanctity all spiritual traditions. Rejecting prejudice, ethnic and gender divides, lead the community away from parochial self-righteousness toward unifying, responsible, disciplined and humanitarian conduct.
A Sikh American sevak (servant-leader) must embrace a spirit of enlightened citizenship; learn from the life and emancipating visions of global icons Dr. King, the Dalai Lama, and President Abraham Lincoln; understand diverse perspectives and ideals that anchor and reflect humanity’s universal hopes and prayers. Working in solidarity at multiple levels with bold initiatives, leaders need to fight and end injustice, violations of sacred rights, stereotyping, hate crimes, deprivation, and conflicts threatening our civilization. By judiciously integrating our myriad strengths into the amazing experiment that is America, we can anticipate a more just and hopeful future for all Americans and our world.
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