1. Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi becomes first Sikh MP elected to UK Parliament; his speech goes viral, here is the must watch video

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi becomes first Sikh MP elected to UK Parliament; his speech goes viral, here is the must watch video

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi who became Britain's first turban-wearing Sikh Member of Parliament gave his maiden speech on Tuesday and it set the net on fire.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: July 19, 2017 6:37 PM
Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi Britain Sikh mp, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi member of parliament, house of commons, Preet Kaur Gill female sikh mp, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi slough, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi maiden speech parliament, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi speech It was a watershed moment for the Sikh community in Britain as Dhesi was elected to the House of Commons (Facebook/Tan Dhesi)

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi who became Britain’s first turban-wearing Sikh Member of Parliament gave his maiden speech on Tuesday and it set the net on fire. In a Channel 4 News video of the speech, Dhesi said, “Slough is a town of firsts. It elected the UK’s first ever black lady mayor [Lydia Simmon] and now, more than three decades later, it has elected the first ever turbanned Sikh in the British Parliament. Indeed, I believe the first ever to any European parliament. A glass ceiling has truly been broken and I sincerely hope that many more like me will follow in the years and decades to come.” It was a watershed moment for the Sikh community in Britain as Dhesi was elected to the House of Commons along with Labour’s Preet Kaur Gill, who is the first female Sikh MP. Dhesi, known as Tan, won the Slough seat with 34,170 votes, according to PTI. He had defeated his Conservative party rival by 16,998 votes. The general election had taken place on June 8.

He said, “The enormity of what has been collectively achieved has not escaped me. Amongst the literally thousands of goodwill messages from around the globe, one individual very succinctly put it: I feel really happy because finally there’s someone that looks like me sitting in Parliament. However, I was most overwhelmed during a recent trip up north when an elderly gentleman said, ‘I’m proud son because I didn’t think that I would see this in my lifetime.’ It is a sense of belonging when you get bullied at school for looking different, when you stand out from the crowd. It is a case of being respected and embraced by your fellow countrymen and women within the highest echelons of the establishment.”

Dhesi was elected the Mayor of Gravesham. At 32, he was the youngest Sikh mayor in Europe, according to reports. In his speech, he said, “When I served as mayor in 2011, integration was my mayoral theme. The message that I consistently took out to our community, to our schools…was that we should all be proud of our own distinct identity. For those of us, who are born and brought up in Britain are British nationals, we should also be proud to be British.”

  1. Don Johnson
    Jul 20, 2017 at 12:00 am
    I think that its a very good thing that Britain finally has a turbaned Sikh in Parliament, especially given the long and honored history of Sikhs in the British Empire. However, as a Canadian, I must say that Britain lags far behind Canada. Today there are 19 MPs of Punjabi-Sikh decent in our parliament. FIVE are "turbaned" and the rest are either female or without turban. There are currently FOUR Sikhs in Canada's cabinet, meaning that Canada has more Sikhs in cabinet than India! We have already seen a Sikh Premier in the province of British Columbia (non-turbaned). And our Minister of National Defense, Harjit Sajjan is a turbaned Sikh. In NINE ridings in the last federal election, a Sikh candidate defeated another Sikh and not one of those ridings had an "Indo-Canadian" population over 20 . I'm not bragging, but it would seem that Canada has a huge edge here! (Ha, ha, I'm lying through my teeth, of course I'm bragging.....) Sat Sri Akal!
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