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Tarlochan Singh speaks to the students, staff, and trustees of Colby College

04/11/2008

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    “The USA should always stand for its traditional principle of supporting democracies. It should not barter its democratic principles for temporary economic gain,” said Mr. Tarlochan Singh, Member of Indian Parliament, in a public lecture at Colby College today. Colby College is one of the prestigious educational institutions of the USA where students are selected for scholarships from all parts of the world. The lecture drew a large number of faculty, students, staff, trustees of Colby College and the larger Waterville community. Mr. Tarlochan Singh said that the support given by America to military regimes and dictatorships, and its special treatment towards communist China is contrary to American principles. Mr. Tarlochan Singh gave many examples where American forces sacrificed their lives for saving the democracies in different parts of the world during the last seventy years. He said that temporary gains should not be the motive of such a super power.

    Elaborating this point he questioned America’s blind support to Pakistan’s military rulers and its recent trend of granting special treatment to communist China. Regarding America’s educational policy, he advocated the large scale program of sending students overseas so that they can learn the history of humankind and the rich heritage preserved by different nations. He said that America, being the youngest nation, needs its students to have first hand knowledge of history that can only be gained while visiting different countries. Money spent on this sector will be very beneficial for the coming generations. He advised the American leadership to always try for Indo-Pakistan friendship so that America can save on its own budget, which it liberally spends for Pakistan’s military expenses. If India and Pakistan are more friendly towards each other, there will be no need for huge defence budgets for either country. He expressed his hope that the new government in Pakistan will work for improving relations with India.



    In his forty-minute speech, Mr. Tarlochan Singh gave a detailed historical account of Indo-US relations over the last sixty years and mentioned several incidents where the respective governments tragically failed to create a cordial atmosphere. However Mr. Singh said that since 1992, three factors are playing a crucial role in promoting mutual friendship:

    1) India’s economic growth;
    2) effective role of people of Indian origin in the USA, and
    3) popularity of yoga and meditation teaching by Indian yogis and swamis.

    He urged the US government to relax its visa system to enable more technocrats and students to come to the USA who will be valuable for the American economy. He narrated the rise of people of Indian origin at the highest political post in various countries like Fiji, Mauritius, Guiana, Trinidad, Surinam, Canada, and UK, and said that Indians always serve the country of their adoption with full heart and always remain peaceful citizens.

    A dinner reception was hosted by the Goldfarb Centre at Colby College in honor of Mr. Tarlochan Singh.

    Tarlochan Singh was also honoured by both senate and house of representatives of the State of Maine in the USA today.

    In the house of representatives, the speaker Glenn Cummings praised Tarlochan Singh's role as parliamentarian. All 121 members of the house gave him a standing ovation. In the senate, president Beth Edmonds also extended a warm welcome to Tarlochan Singh, who was seated in the gallery.

    Senator Beth Edmonds honoured him with gifts and souvenirs. Earlier, Tarlochan Singh had discussion with about 20 senators over a wide range of issues. Tarlochan Singh is on a seven-day lecture tour to the USA. He has already given two lectures on Sikh Identity and Minorities and their problems in the Colby College in Colby. On Thursday, he is to address the faculty and the students on Indo-American relations. He will also preside over the Baisakhi celebrations at Hofsa University in New York.
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