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Indian American politician’s photo with Khalistani flags sparks fury


April 30, 2024: Jenifer Rajkumar, the first Punjabi-American elected to New York state office, found herself amidst controversy following her attendance as the guest of honor at the Sikh Day Parade. While Rajkumar expressed pride in participating in the celebration of Sikh culture, her social media post from the event stirred a heated debate.

In a statement shared after the parade on X, Rajkumar lauded the Sikh community for their dedication to values of equality, unity, and compassion, emphasizing their integral role in New York City’s diverse tapestry.

“As the first Punjabi-American ever elected to a New York state office, I was so proud to be Guest of Honour at the Sikh Day Parade. Sikhs promote equality, unity, and compassion every day. We are blessed to have a thriving Sikh community as part of the gorgeous mosaic of New York City,” her post said.

Photos courtesy: Assemblywoman Jenifer Kumar’s X account.

However, her accompanying photograph which showed Khalistani flags in the background, led to criticism online.

The presence of Khalistani flags, symbols associated with a movement seeking an independent Sikh state, raised concerns among some users. Comments on X accused her of aligning with Khalistani separatists.

“Your appearance during the Sikh Day Parade amid the proponents of Khalistan terrorism is a huge concern for the safety of Indians in USA,” one user commented.

“She is standing with the Khalistanis. I hope the Indian American voters remember this when they go next time to cast their votes in local elections,” said another.

“What a letdown you are for those who saw a beacon of hope in you but you did not even do any due diligence, else you would have certainly taken a strong objection on Khalistan flag. Please enlighten yourself about this terrorist Khalistan movement,” another user lamented.

Rajkumar is a lawyer, professor, and government leader who made history as the first South Asian-American woman ever to be elected to a state office in New York. She is a graduate of Stanford Law School and the University of Pennsylvania.

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