Atlanta Sikhs honor Gen. J.J. Singh
Gen. Singh was the first Sikh to serve as the Chief of the Indian Army and held the office from January 2005 to September 2007. He is currently the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh. He is a firm believer in empowerment through universal education and is a strong supporter of the Ekal Vidyalaya movement, which has 27000 schools in the tribal areas of India.
“We are indeed delirious with joy, as one of our own joins us today,” said Amarjit Singh Duggal of Sewa (Sikh Educational Welfare Association) Inc. at the luncheon held in the general’s honor.
Various Sikh community leaders spoke and requested Gen. Singh to help the community find increased enrollment in the Indian Army, especially in officer grades.
Harminderjit Singh of the Sikh Study Circle said, “With his appointment, Sikhs felt part of the mainstream. It was a proud moment. We want to express our gratitude to you, for your dedication and hard work that brought honor to the entire Sikh community.”
Rajinder Singh Dhada of the Sikh Community Network remarked that drug abuse was being widely seen as a reason for the declining numbers of Punjabi youth in the Indian army. He expressed the community’s concern over the easy availability of drugs in the border state, and referred to a letter written in July 2006 by Gen. Singh, then chief of army staff, to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on the issue. “We as a community urge you to keep pressing for programs which will help more recruitment in the army, solving health and unemployment issues in our community,” Rajinder Singh said.
Avtar Singh of the Sikh American Society of Georgia said, “We want to thank General JJ Singh for keeping up with the great tradition that we Sikhs are born with. To defend the downtrodden and provide sense of security to our citizens.”
Gen. Singh thanked the community for contributing to the bigger cause of building bridges between America and India and assured the gathering of his help in increasing the enrolment of Punjabis in the Indian army and addressing the addiction issue in the border state.
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