Fresno (CA) -The council of Fresno city in California has named one of its prominent parks after Sikh human rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra, on August 31. It was earlier known as Victoria Park. It was passed with a unanimous vote, including Council members Esmeralda Soria, Paul Caprioglio, Garry Bredefeld, and Clint Olivier each sharing heartfelt words.
The declaration to this effect was made just ahead of his death anniversary. Bhai Jaswant Singh Khalra sacrificed his life to expose extra-judicial killings of thousands of innocent people in Punjab.
Shaheed Bhai Jaswant Singh Khalra was born in 1952, the grandson of Harnam Singh, a well-known freedom fighter against British colonialism and Canadian white supremacy. Jaswant was wedded to social justice causes. By his late 30s, Jaswant Singh was working as a bank director in Punjab, married to Paramjit Kaur, and had two children – a son, Janmeet, and a daughter, Navkiran.
His daughter Navkiran Kaur Khalra was present at this special occasion in Fresno. Now the city of Fresno will make sure that the name of Jaswant Singh Khalra is remembered.
The Sikh community can be seen in all walks of Fresno life and Punjabi is now the fourth most spoken language in the city. To have a park named for this human rights hero honors the Sikh presence in the city makes the city’s landmark geography reflective of their contribution, and is a celebration of those shared values – justice, truth, and human rights – that makes Fresno such a wonderful community.