Sikh Caucus Co-Chair Garamendi Meets with Indian Prime Minister Modi, Urges Strong Religious Freedom Protections
SAN JOSE, CA - Yesterday, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to California. Congressman Garamendi delivered a letter to Modi and spoke on the need for religious inclusion in India. Congressman Garamendi represents one of the largest Indian American communities in America, including a substantial Sikh population. Many of his constituents are concerned about the right to freely practice their faith in India.
Garamendi said the following:
"Today I had the opportunity to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the Silicon Valley. As a member of Congress and as the Co-Chair of the American Sikh Congressional Caucus, I represent a large Indian American population, including many Sikhs. Many of my constituents are deeply concerned about the treatment of religious and ethnic minorities in India. I am grateful that my position in Congress afforded me the opportunity to bring up these concerns to the leader of the world's largest democracy.
"Religious freedom and access to justice are rights we cherish here in America. But these are not just American values. We believe that everyone in the world deserves the same access to these fundamental rights. All of India's religious and ethnic minorities, including its substantial Sikh population, deserve to practice their religion and customs without government interference as long as human rights and individual conscience are respected. I appreciate that Prime Minister Modi gave me the opportunity to discuss these critical issues. Rest assured that he knows where I stand and that the message of my constituents was heard loud and clear."