Millennium Post

Love trumps hate

Love trumps hate
In an almost satirical tribute to Trump's one-year anniversary of securing electoral victory in the elections to the coveted chair of President of the United states of America, New Jersey gave out a fitting reply to the sentiment of Making America Great Again by voting, for the very first time, an American-Sikh to become Mayor in the town of Hoboken, a city of 55,000, on the Hudson river. Ravindra Bhalla's journey has been anything but easy. Born and raised in New Jersey, his campaign had witnessed repeated racial slurs and attacks, with people tagging him as a terrorist trying to sabotage his impression. But Bhalla, of course, growing up in the United States, has immunised himself against such misdirected attacks. He recalls being bullied for his turban from childhood, incidences of which intensified since the 9/11 attack. The turban is more readily associated with the Middle East, than with the Sikhs–leading to racial slurs and abuses being meted out to the Sikhs who have never etched their footprint on the global radar of terrorism. Despite a growing sentiment of hatred towards outsiders in the American landmass, residents of Hoboken gave a refreshing response by voting Bhalla to power, above his five other competitors. 'Love trumps hate,' was proven yet again. Bhalla in his campaigns exalted the truest American sentiment as being one of acceptance, love and benefit to society. Bhalla has always moved ahead of his identity, claiming to be a human committed to his ethical and civic responsibilities first. This year, 2017, has seen several firsts in US elections, with a transgender democrat, Danica Roem, securing a seat in the state legislative assembly for the first time and a turbaned Sikh now being appointed the Mayor of Hoboken, also a first. This win for Bhalla is not only a boost to the Sikh community in America, but it is a reminder to Washington DC that American sentiments are still etched in acceptance and diversity, not mere bigotry and exclusivity. After a year of Trump's insensitive remarks and harsh policies, which saw a brief implementation of a travel ban on Muslim nations, Bhalla's victory is a resurgence of the spirit of diversity that had, in the first place, made America great. Without that initial embrace, America wouldn't have been the land of dreams that it is today. As Simran Jeet Singh of the Sikh Coalition in the USA said, after Bhalla's and Roem's victory, "This is the America we know. This is the America we want."
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