Houston, Texas – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit the ground running as he landed here on Saturday after a long flight.
Within hours of his arrival, Modi met a group of energy sector business leaders and a big boost in oil and gas exports to India emerged.
Then came the meetings with delegations of different communities including the Sikh community, Kashmiri Pandits and Bohra Muslims here.
The small group of Kashmiri Pandits thanked Prime Minister Modi for his Government’s action on Article 370 and withdrawing the special status given to Jammu & Kashmir. Modi joined them in reciting a Sanskrit verse “Namaste Sharade Devi.”
The Bohra community representatives draped a shawl around Modi shoulders and could be seen interacting with him.
Sikhs of America
A big contingent of Sikhs under the aegis of Sikhs of America submitted a memorandum to the visiting Indian Prime Minister – thanking him for his government’s action against perpetrators of the genocide of the Sikhs in the 1984 riots and other positive actions.
The memorandum also asked for the renewal of passports of asylees and issues pertaining to registration of Sikh marriages under the Anand Marriage Act and not the Hindu Marriage Act
Jesse Singh, Chair of the Sikhs of America, was visibly happy and said he was very pleased with the meeting of his organization’s delegation with Prime Minister Modi.
Going down memory lane, Jesse listed a number of requests which were submitted to the prime minister’s last visit especially opening the cases of 1984 riot accused. The Indian prime minister Modi is working to heal wounds from a genocide that has left an indelible mark on Sikh community’s psychosis, noted Jesse.
“We are here to achieve something for the Community,” says Kanwaljit Singh Soni, Convener, Sikh Affairs Wing Overseas Friends of BJP, US (OFBJP). “We met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 and submitted our perspectives which areslow but steady being fulfilled, like actions against people involved in 1994 Genocide where Sikhs were massacred across India. We are thankful to Prime Minister Modi for being a positive player in Kartarpur Corridor and its upcoming opening in November. Another point we had requested that after serving their time period in the India jails, the persons should be released. Most of them have served their term and beyond,” said Soni in comments to IAT.
A Sikh leader who came all the way from Maryland told IAT: “We are here to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the scheduled opening of Kartarpur Corridor and celebrations around the world in the Indian missions.” “We are also glad that our President Donald Trump is joining the visiting Prime Minister Modi,” said Ratan Singh, President, Sikh Association of Baltimore.
Sandeep Singh, a participant also from Maryland expressed joy and satisfaction after meeting with Prime Minister Modi. He was particularly appreciative of the role played by the Indian leader in the projected opening of the Kartarpur Corridor.
Adapaprasad, Vice President, Overseas Friends of BJP, US (OFBJP), who joined the Sikhs observed: “Sikh community of America gathered to greet Modi who was pleasant and very interactive in communicating. A memorandum was given and he promised to look at the demands. He delivers what he promises. This is the first time the Prime Minister of India has put a healing hand on Sikhs’ wounds from 1984 riots.”