Washington D.C.: In a grand display of respect and honor, Sikhs of America, Inc. took the lead in hosting a royal farewell reception for His Excellency Taranjit Singh Sandhu, the Indian Ambassador to the United States. The prestigious event at Martins Crosswinds in Maryland was a significant testament to Ambassador Sandhu’s impactful tenure. Under the aegis of Sikhs of America, Inc., the gathering reflected the deep respect and admiration Ambassador Sandhu has garnered within the Indian community across the United States and other regions he has served globally.
The farewell event was further elevated by the collaborative efforts of several prominent Indian organizations, showcasing the unity and strength of the Indian community in America. Joining Sikhs of America, Inc. in this grand endeavor were the US India Sikh Alliance, Inc., National Council of Asian Indian Associations, Inc., Global Assamese Entrepreneurship Forum, US India SME Council, Inc., Overseas Friends of BJP, and Global Haryana. This collective initiative by these organizations highlighted their cohesive spirit and commitment to celebrating the remarkable contributions of Ambassador Sandhu in enhancing India-U.S. relations and elevating the community’s international presence.
Sukhpal Singh Dhanoa, a renowned Sikh Punjabi journalist and the bureau chief in Washington, D.C., adeptly moderated the event. Known as the first Sikh to report directly from the White House, Dhanoa’s proficient handling of the proceedings added a layer of distinction to the evening.
The reception committee, comprising Baljinder Singh Shammi, Inderjit Gujral, Preet Takhar, Dr. Sudhir Sakseria, Keerti Swamy, and Leesha Pulverty, played a pivotal role in the evening’s success. They greeted Sr. Taranjit Singh Sandhu with a traditional drum salute, Dhol, accompanied by vibrant Bhangra dance performers, adding energy and cultural richness to the welcome. The presence of Charanjit Singh Sarpanch, Chairman of the Sikh Association of Baltimore Gurdwara Sahib, alongside other notable community leaders such as Dr. Rahul Gupta, representing the Biden administration directly from the White House, added depth and significance to the gathering.
“This evening celebrates the strong India-U.S. ties,” said Jasdip Singh Jesse, Chairman of Sikhs of America, Inc. “We honor Ambassador Sandhu’s role in strengthening this bond.”
Jasdip Singh Jesse, Chairman of Sikhs of America, Inc., captured the essence of the evening in his eloquent address. “This evening is not just a farewell; it’s a celebration of the strong ties between India and the United States,” underscoring the event’s significance. In his welcome speech, Jesse extolled Ambassador Sandhu for his remarkable efforts in enhancing Indo-American relations and for elevating the global stature of the Sikh turban. “Ambassador Sandhu’s tenure is not only a source of pride for the Sikh community but also a milestone in the annals of Indo-American diplomatic history,” he remarked. Jesse further added, “His Excellency’s tenure has been a testament to the power of diplomatic excellence and cultural bridge-building. Ambassador Sandhu has been a pivotal figure in strengthening the bonds between our two great nations and showcasing the rich tapestry of our shared values and aspirations. His contributions go beyond diplomatic dialogues; they resonate in the hearts and minds of people, fostering a deeper understanding and respect across continents.”
“I am grateful for the support from the Indian community,” stated Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu. “My tenure has been a journey of enriching India-U.S. relations.”
In his heartfelt address, Ambassador Sandhu reflected on his tenure, underscoring his dedication to the Indian community in America and the strengthening of India-U.S. relations. He fondly recalled the affection and respect he received from the Indian community, stating, “These memories will forever hold a special place in my heart. I will always remember the love and respect I received from the Indian community.” Ambassador Sandhu also shared his future aspirations, expressing his intent to leverage his vast experience and connections to advance Punjab and Amritsar. “After my retirement, I plan to dedicate myself to the betterment of Punjab, utilizing the knowledge and networks I’ve developed over the years,” he said. Further emphasizing the importance of cultural and spiritual roots, he appealed to the diaspora to visit Amritsar. “I encourage our diaspora to journey to Amritsar, to pay respects at the Darbar Sahib and other sacred sites. It’s a profound way to connect with our heritage and traditions,” he urged.
The event reached its pinnacle when Sikhs of America presented a Citation of Honor to Mr. Sandhu, a fitting accolade for his distinguished service and contributions to the Indian community and Indo-American relations. This ceremonial highlight marked a high point of the evening and symbolized the community’s deep appreciation for Ambassador Sandhu’s dedicated efforts. The event concluded on a high note with mesmerizing performances by local students, showcasing traditional Indian dance and Bhangra, accompanied by live singing from talented Indian American kids, leaving the audience enthralled by their cultural display.
Further enhancing the event were influential community members, including Gurwinder Sethi, Maninder Sethi, Inderjit Singh Gujral, Harbir Batra, Prabhjot Batra, Chatar Singh Saini, Raj Saini, Dilveer Singh, Ratan Singh, Gurcharan Singh, Kulwinder Flora, Sarabjit Bakshi, Jaswinder Singh Johnny, and Vikas Dhal from the Guru Gobind Singh Cultural Society Long Island New York. The attendance of Preet Takhar, Chairman of the Maryland Governor’s Commission on South Asian American Affairs, Dr. Sudhir Saxeria, Dr. Raman Sood, and N.C.A.I.A. President Kirti Swamy, among others, further highlighted the vibrant and dynamic Indian community in America.