Trenton – Senate President Steve Sweeney honored the East Coast Sikh Coordination Committee and members of the greater Sikh community today with a resolution recognizing Guru Tegh Bahadur and Human Rights and Religious Freedom Day. A champion of religious freedom for all, Bahadur confronted the Moghul Emperor Aurangzeb against the forced religious conversion of Hindus, an act for which he was publicly beheaded.
“Nothing is more courageous than sacrificing one’s own life to protect the rights of others,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “It is only fitting that we honor Guru Tegh Bahadur alongside recognizing Human Rights and Religious Freedom Day. The Sikh community is an important part of New Jersey’s diverse population making rich contributions to our state.”
Guru Bahadur is fondly remembered as Dharam Di Chadar, or Shield of the Religions, for his ultimate sacrifice.
“Today is a great day for the Sikh community. On behalf of all New Jersey Sikhs, I sincerely appreciate this singular gesture of the New Jersey Legislature and especially thank Senate President Steve Sweeney and Speaker Craig Coughlin for this special recognition on this historic occasion,” said Harjinder Singh, Media Spokesman of Sikh Coordination Committee East Coast (SCCEC). He further added that New Jersey is the most diverse state in the nation and the Sikh community is proud to be an integral part of its multicultural fabric.
Human Rights and Religious Freedom Day and Guru Tegh Bahadur’s 400th birthday will be celebrated on April 18, 2021.