INDIANA GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Indiana State House, Indianapolis
March 1, 2010
Invocation: Kanwal Prakash (KP) Singh
Inspiration: Sikh Faith Tradition
Representing: The Sikh Satsang of Indianapolis; Central Indiana Sikh Americans
Honorable Governor, Lt. Governor, Mr. Speaker, distinguished Members of Indiana House of Representatives, and special guests:
It is an honor to be with you this morning in this magnificent and historic Chamber. I feel the presence of Indiana’s outstanding leaders and lawmakers, some of whom I have the great honor of meeting and learning about over the last four decades. Thank you for your thoughtful invitation to share a few words of inspiration before this august body that has been engaged in people’s business for nearly two centuries. Let us together reflect for a few moments on that what above all speaks to our humanity:
Ik Ong Kaar; Wahegurujee Kee Fateh:
One Supreme God; all victories belong to the Amazing Immaculate Lord:
Wonderful Lord, we come to you in deep humility and thanksgiving.
Guide our spirit to celebrate and honor the fundamental Truths:
“IN GOD WE TRUST”
“ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL”
Each Living Being is a “Repository of the same Divine Light,”
All Creation threaded-in, moving forward under One Mighty Canopy of Universal Benevolence;
Anchored in this understanding, personally committing and rightly trusting
That our leaders, lawmakers, educators, ordinary citizens,
Other major contributors to life, liberty, happiness, and opportunities:
Fully recognizing our many dreams, our unique and shared interests;
Passionately exploring promising ideas, visiting every imaginative vision;
Wise stewardship of resources, knowing our changing landscapes and environment;
Tirelessly striving in building prosperous communities across our State that
Assure safety and well-being, rights and freedoms, peaceful pursuits of all Americans
Within the framework of just laws, creative and sound initiatives, our honored traditions.
As lawmakers, civic and faith leaders, professionals, people in every walk-of-life, may we enter into faith with one another; direct our minds and mandates to the service of our State and our Nation; safeguard and celebrate universal humanitarian and cherished traditions as a sacred anchor and as our highest prayer.
Unified in our commitment to serve, may we uphold our laws; wisely mainstream our many strengths, unique assets, and diverse experiences. We must harness the new pioneering spirit and daring visions to shape a bright future for Indiana: where every fellow citizen sees himself or herself as a welcome and proud partner; engaged, prepared, and encouraged to excel, and confidently compete in the brave new world of tomorrow, today. We know that in time unimagined rewards will follow. May the Light from above, bless our lawmakers, leaders, and citizens to fairly enforce our laws; bless all who daily carry great burdens on our behalf, guide us forward in the uncertain and momentous times on our horizons.
SIKH INVOCATION AT THE INDIANA STATE HOUSE
Kanwal Prakash Singh
In a historic first, the Sikh community of Indianapolis was invited to deliver the Invocation at the opening session of Indiana General Assembly on March 1, 2010. The invitation to deliver the Invocation came from the office of State Representative F. Dale Grubb, Caucus Chairman, and was delivered by long time Indiana resident and international community leader, KP Singh. Drawing inspirations from Sikh spirituality, commandments, and traditions, the Invocation (attached) highlighted a spirit and principles of just laws that respect and safeguard human dignity and our shared hopes and prayers. For me, having survived the nightmare of the Partition of India almost 63 years ago, this moment stood as an undreamed-of blessing and a triumph for Indiana's emerging diversity.
State Representative Michael Murphy thoughtfully initiated the passage of special Indiana House Resolution 0035 by the members of the Indiana General Assembly in support of the central Indiana Sikh community. Copies of the House Resolution were presented to representatives of The Sikh Satsang of Indianapolis, Guru Nanak Sikh Society, and Gurdwara Sri Hargobind Sahibji. All three Sikh Temples are located in the Indianapolis metropolitan area. The Invocation and Resolution presentations took place the historic State House in the ornate Chamber of the Indiana General Assembly. The present Indiana State House, built in 1888 in Renaissance Revival with a grand Italian Renaissance style interior, is located in the All-American City of Indianapolis. Since 1846, the City has served as the State capitol of Indiana.
"HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS AND DISTINGUISHED GUESTS"
Several students from the Indiana University School of Nursing visited the Sikh Temple (Acton Road) recently. They came to learn as a part of their nursing education and preparation, how best to take care of Sikh and Indian patients. We briefly discussed with them the significance of sacred and mandated articles of the Sikh faith and the special care, respect, and cultural sensitivity that is needed to address the religious and cultural concerns of Sikh patients in their care.
The flow of students, educators, faith representatives, and civic leaders is a regular feature at the Sikh Temple (Acton Road). For us, it is important to expand the mainstreaming of our gifts, experiences, and interests to become committed and responsible partners for causes that benefit all Indiana citizens.
The Indiana Sikh Americans proudly welcomed recently Mr. Michael Welch, Special Agent, Mr. Drew Northern, Chief Division Counsel, and Ms. Kathryn Sipes, Community Outreach Specialist, all from the Indianapolis FBI office, to the Sikh Temple (Acton Road). The distinguished guests were briefed by the Satsang leadership about the foundations of Sikh faith and its time-honored traditions; the special concerns and challenges since 9/11 and frequent problems of mistaken identity, incidents of harassment and discrimination prompted by their physical appearance and the religiously mandated articles of faith.
The Sikh Satsang presented the visiting guests the sacred Siropa, a shawl, an illustrated book: The Sikhs, and a Sri Sahib that is a Sikh symbol of justice and safeguarding of human dignity. Mr. Welch and Mr. Northern, in their brief remarks, assured the gathering of their firm commitment to the well-being and safety of all citizens and promised to address all legitimate concerns that may fall within their official mandate. They stayed and shared community meal (Langar) before leaving.
BRAVE NEW FRONTIER AT OUR DOORSTEPS
The work of interfacing with civic, faith and community leaders, and institutions; learning about our responsibilities and opportunities; discovering and assuring our place in the future cultural and societal fabric continues at many levels and in many forums in Indiana and the Nation. Engaged citizenship is one way to dispel ignorance and create a positive environment for the pursuit of our individual and collective dreams.
Each of us has a stake and a claim to such a vision and its unimagined rewards. The cultural and spiritual tapestry taking shape across our landscape, in our communities and neighborhood, are adding new layers to the rich mosaic of our national heritage. This brave new frontier at our doorsteps is a cause for celebration, for the strengths and pioneering spirit that it brings to our State and helping us see our future in an increasingly interconnected world. The Sikh Americans need to step forward, see the promise in front of them, and serve their communities with a deep commitment and sense of belonging.
Indianapolis, Indiana USA