The tragedy at Wisconsin Sikh Temple in Oak Creek Wisconsin, on Sunday, August 5, has shocked the entire 28 million strong Sikh community around the globe. Six innocent people have lost their lives and a few more are fighting for their lives. One of the victims-a priest – had just received his green card and had arrived at the temple only four days ago. Our heartfelt sympathies go to the families of the victims. May their souls rest in peace. We pray for the fast recovery of the injured.
The reaction to this tragedy from all over has been overwhelming. Offers of moral, emotional and financial support to the victims and their families as well as the Oak Creek Sikh Temple, not only from the Sikh community but also from non-Sikhs, has been amazing. The American authorities have done a commendable job in condemning this ghastly crime and in standing in solidarity with the Sikh community. The Gurdwara founder and president, 65-year-old Satwant Singh has made every Sikh proud with his selfless sacrifice. Crimes like this must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
This senseless act of violence has raised a number of questions. Why would this former soldier with a twisted mind pick the place of worship of a very peaceful, peace- loving, hardworking and generous community to commit such an abhorrent act of violence? What prompted him to commit this horrific crime? This, coming right on the heals of the Colorado movie theatre tragedy in the U.S., has raised even more questions for the American society in general and the authorities in particular. Let’s hope that tragedies like these never happen again.