Sikhs from California want some time on DNC stage

Sikhs in California have been a victim of hate crime and mistaken identity in the recent years in the US.

Charlotte: More than 20 Sikh delegates from California want the party leadership to give them an opportunity on the stage during the ongoing Democratic National Convention here.

The delegates from California are attending Democratic national convention which has nominated US President Barack Obama as its presidential candidate for the November elections.

"We have urged the party leadership to give us some time on the stage for prayer," Resham Singh from California told a news agency on the sidelines of the convention.

Sikhs in California, he said, have been a victim of hate crime and mistaken identity in the recent years.

A presence on the stage would help them thank the entire nation and US President Barack Obama for the outpouring of national support in the aftermath of the Wisconsin Gurdwara shooting and tell the American people who they are and what Sikhism represents, said Singh.

"We have not heard from them yet," Singh said hoping that the organisers of the convention would be able to squeeze some time for them.

Singh`s request comes in the aftermath of a Sikh offering invocation during the last week`s Republican convention in Tampa, Florida.

This is for the first time that such a large delegation of Sikh delegates are attending the Democratic national convention, said Harinder Kaur.

In all, 26 Sikhs were selected from California as delegate, of which five of them could not attend, she said.

"It has been a wonderful opportunity to attend the convention," said Sarabjit Kaur Cheema, an elected School Board member in New Haven Unified School District.

Cheema, who has been attending a number of meetings on the sidelines of the convention along with other Sikh delegates, said that in all these meetings people have been remembering the victims of Gurdwara shooting.

"We are very thankful to the First Lady, who travelled to Wisconsin to meet the victims of the Gurdwara shooting," said Kaur, adding that Michele Obama recognised the Sikhs present in one of the meetings she addressed on the sidelines of the Democratic national convention.