Sikhs make ‘massive’ contribution to London, says Mayor Sadiq Khan


| London, Britain | 15 April 2016 Asia Samachar

CELEBRATION: A Sikh snapping a poto with London Mayor Sadiq Khan at a Vaisakhi procession in London – PHOTO GRAB FROM SADIQ KHAN VAISAKHI GREETING VIDEO

The Sikh community in London makes a ‘massive’ contribution to making it the greatest city in the world, says Sadiq Khan in what is probably is his first Vaisakhi video greeting as the London Mayor, released on 13 April 2017.

On 9 April, Sadiq attended a Vaisakhi parade in the city’s Southall neighbourhood, becoming the first mayor of the British capital to participate in the event, according to one media report. The parade is among the largest open-air celebrations of any festival in Europe.

“Londoners don’t just tolerate diversity, we celebrate it,” he later said via Twitter.

Sadiq, who surprise many when he won the election for the London mayorship in 2016, was joined by fellow Labour MPs Seema Malhotra and Virender Sharma at the Vaiskahi celebrations at the Sri Guru SIngh Sabha.

The London mayor, who will serve for another four years, did not have a privileged start in life. He was one of eight children born to Pakistani immigrants, a bus driver and a seamstress, on a south London housing estate, according to a BBC article.

In 2005, he fought and retained the marginal seat of Tooting for Labour, one of five new ethnic minority MPs elected that year. When Gordon Brown took over at Number 10, Sadiq was given his first job in government as a whip and then as communities minister. A post at the Department for Transport followed in 2009 and he became the first Muslim in the Cabinet, the article said.

In a posting via his personal Facebook page, Sadiq writes:

Happy Vaisakhi from the Mayor of London

When I think of the Sikh community in London and the contribution they have made to the capital – socially, culturally and economically – I feel proud. 

Seva, or selfless service, is integral to Sikhism and this principle of charity and equality is something I deeply respect. I want to thank the volunteers who, all year round, give up their time to provide a good meal to homeless people around the capital. I also want to thank them for the hours of work they have put into making Vaisakhi around the capital such a fantastic celebration.

Many Sikh Londoners have a similar story to me. Our parents and grandparents settled in the UK, made this city their home and made the most of what our capital had to give. As a Mayor for all Londoners, I will do all I can to ensure everyone has the helping hand they need to fulfil their potential. 

I’d like to wish the Sikh community of London and beyond a very happy Vaisakhi. 

Vaisakhi di lakh lakh vidaiya.


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