Diaspora

SikhPAC chairman GS Khalsa endores Hate Crime Bill

November 24, 2017 10:03 AM

Indiana still remains one of only five states without a comprehensive hate crime statute
Punjab News Express/Balbir Singh
INDIANAPOLIS: Sikhs Political Actiion Committee (SikhsPAC) Founder and Chairman Gurinder Singh Khalsa endorsed pending hate crimes legislation at a press conference held today at the Atrium of the Indiana State Capitol/Statehouse building in Downtown. The event was organized by the Central Indiana Alliance Against Hate and included state legislators and representatives of various organizations.
Representatives of several supporting organizations , including Indiana Latino Institute, Indiana Statewide Independent Living Council, Indiana Youth Group, Indy Chamber, Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council and Indianapolis Urban League/ Exchange at the Indianapolis Urban League addressed the press conference.
Mr Khalsa emphasized the importance of enacting hate crimes legislation to Hoosiers and  state’s economic development. “Today, many businesses – including large corporations of all types – will not locate their operations in states that don’t protect threatened minorities,” Khalsa said. “Business want to be sure that they can employ the best people possible, without regard to race, sex, color or religion. And they want to be assured that their employees are protected from harm.
“Our state is dependent on businesses to create opportunities for everyone,” he added. “The lack of a strong hate crimes law deters companies from considering Indiana for new jobs. And it implies that we, as Hoosiers, do not cherish all of our fellow citizens.”
According to Khalsa, Sikhs value peace and unity. “Our philosophy emphasizes equality of all mankind. We believe in actively protecting the rights of others. And we believe in helping others, both for the good of the community and the good of each individual person,” he said. “Indiana needs these protections. SikhsUSA and SikhsPAC strongly support hate crime legislation in the upcoming general assembly.”
The Sikh community in Indiana is large and growing every day. More than 10,000 Sikhs live in Indiana and more than 3,500 businesses are owned or operated by Sikhs in our state.
The Central Indiana Alliance Against Hate (CIAAH) joined with supporting organizations and fellow Hoosiers to host a press conference during the General Assembly’s Organization Day on November 21, 2017. The press conference  raised needed attention to Indiana’s lack of a comprehensive hate crime law. With the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicating an increasing number of hate crimes in Indiana, and across the country, Indiana still remains one of only five states without a comprehensive hate crime statute.
“It is important that the General Assembly prioritize bias crimes legislation in 2018 and finally pass a comprehensive bill,” stated David Sklar of the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council. “It is wonderful to see that so many Hoosiers, and Hoosier organizations and businesses, are rallying around this issue. It is clear that not only is it a criminal law issue, but it’s also a quality of place issue for the State. People want to know that they are safe and hate motivated crimes will be dealt with as they are in a vast majority of the rest of the country,” he continued.

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