A group of Sikh activists in America has initiated an online petition asking Indian-American Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris to make an apology to the community for allegedly defending a discriminatory policy in 2011.s
Kamala Harris served as the junior United States Senator from California since 2017 and in a statement the Sikh activists alleged that Harris, during her tenure as California’s Attorney General, fortified a policy that had forbidden state prison guards from keeping beards for religious reason, even though exceptions were given for medical reasons.
The case settled without a policy change in 2011, prompting the U.S. Department of Justice to open a civil rights investigation and forcing California Sikhs to successfully lobby for stronger workplace religious freedom laws in the state the following year.
A lawyer and political consultant in Washington, DC, Rajdeep Singh Jolly said that on one hand Kamala Harris lectures her opponents on civil rights, but she needs to apologise for stepping on the civil rights of Sikh Americans as California’s attorney general.
Another Sikh-American and a commentator on Sikh American issues, Winty Singh, said, “It’s her opportunity now to right that wrong.”