NYC Honors a Sikh Actor and Designer

(Photo via News India Times)

(Photo via News India Times)

During Diwali celebrations at Gracie Mansion last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared Oct. 19 to be Waris Ahluwalia Day, after the Sikh actor and designer, reports Suman Guha Mozumder in News India Times.

The unprecedented honor for 42-year-old Ahluwalia came amid increasing incidents of hate crime against the minority communities, including Sikhs.

“We believe when any community – when any community’s attacked or when any individual is attacked because of who they are, because of their faith, because of where they come from – an attack on one is an attack on all of us,” Mayor de Blasio said before declaring Oct. 19 as the Waris Ahluwalia Day.

“And that is something we believe deeply, and you will see whenever any community is affronted the NYPD will be present to protect that community and whenever there’s a hate crime we are very adamant.

Noting that Ahluwalia wears his turban ” wherever he goes,” the mayor said that the honoree “sends a powerful message to our city, to our country of countering ignorance, celebrating inclusion and advocating for religious understanding and tolerance in everything he does.”

Go to News India Times to learn what Ahluwalia had to say about how he has been greeted on the streets of New York, his hometown, since 9/11, and why he thought it fitting that he received his honor during Diwali celebrations.

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