‘Sikh Project’ Highlights Lives of Community Heroes Post 9/11: NY

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A Sikh subway driver, Sat Hari Singh who rescued countless people by reversing a train headed for ground zero on 9/11 and a decorated Sikh-American army veteran, Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, are among the several men and women from the community profiled in an art exhibition to showcase their perseverance in the face of backlash against them after the terror attack.

As the US commemorated the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks yesterday, the photography exhibition ‘Sikh Project’ will run from September 17-25 here to highlight the aesthetics of the Sikh articles of faith, including the turban and beard.

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The exhibition is a collaboration between civil rights group ‘The Sikh Coalition’ and acclaimed British photographers Amit and Naroop.

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Featuring nearly 40 formidable portraits of Sikh-Americans of various ages, the exhibition will tell the story of the triumphs and perseverance of the community that has overcome great challenges in the 15 years since the attacks in 2001.

Among those featured in the exhibition is Sat Hari Singh, a New York City train operator who saved countless lives on the fateful day of 9/11 when he reversed the train headed for ground zero, sending it in the opposite direction.

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It also features renowned Sikh-American designer and actor Waris Ahluwalia, who was not allowed to board a plane from Mexico City in February this year because of his turban.

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Also profiled in the exhibition is Ishprit Kaur, a nursing student in Connecticut, and Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, a Bronze Star Medal recipient and the first Sikh American to be granted a religious accommodation to serve in the US military since the ban on Sikhs in the 1980s.

Amit and Naroop, the British photographers, commented that through the exhibition they want to “break the ignorant stereotypes made in the US that all Sikhs look like terrorists”.

 

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The duo added that the exhibition wants to enlighten people about the Sikh faith and encourage them to embrace their identity with pride, celebrating diversity.

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While there are an estimated 500,000 Sikh-Americans in the US, who have been an integral part of the American fabric for generations, the first post-9/11 fatal hate crime victim was a Sikh.