When a lawyer of Sikh-Indian descent offered a Sikh invocation at the Republican National Convention in the United States, the prayer resonated in India, the cradle of the Sikh faith. As is the custom, Harmeet Dhillon covered her head with a silk navy-and-gold scarf when she sang “Tu Thakar Tum Peh Ardaas, Jio Pind Sabh Teri Raas.” It’s a hymn written by the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan, which is said as a prelude to daily Sikh prayers called Ardaas. The verse is compiled in the Guru Granth Sahib, the primary Sikh scripture, and denotes total surrender and humility. Above all, it delineates the world as 'one family', with no distinctions whatsoever. “Tum Maat Pita, Hum Barik Tere,” writes Guru Arjan in this invocation to God, which when translated means “we are all your children.” Sikh Gurus opposed discrimination in any shape or form, be it on the basis of Hindu castes, religions, race or gender. My Sikh friends flooded Facebook and Twitter news-feeds instantly in euphoria, posting online videos and news reports about Dhillon’s Ardaas at the Convention, where Donald Trump was named as the Republican candidate for the US presidency. There’s absolutely no harm in singing Sikh prayers anywhere with traditional respect, which was very much evident from the footage. Anyone, irrespective of his or her birth, background or orientation, is welcome to gurdwaras, the Sikh houses of worship and learning. Essentially, that is the principle of equality, which the faith espouses. The first word in the Guru Granth Sahib is a numeral - and that is 1 written in Gurmukhi. This number is followed by Onkar - a term that dates back to Vedic ages. But when Guru Nanak placed one before it, he demolished all inequities in what became the fundamental creed of the Sikh faith. It was not the kind of statement that ancient and contemporary monotheists, and present-day political groups spreading their bets on diverse vote-blocs, usually pronounce. Rather, this construction sought to break the walls even among monotheists - the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims - the rich and the poor, upper and lower Hindu castes, men and women, let alone polytheists. The entire thrust lay on building networks and not creating pyramids where one set of people are perched on the top, another in the middle, and yet another at the bottom. Beyond theology, it was also a political philosophy for governance that must ensure no human values and rights are violated. Sikh history illustrates the need to preserve human rights, through intellectual awakening, talks, or, if all other means fail - by militarily intervention. It’s unclear to me what broader message Dhillon wanted to send when she picked a verse from a philosophy that’s uncompromisingly equality-oriented for a man the Washington Post described as “a unique threat to American democracy”, never mind the rest of the world. “Donald J Trump, until now a Republican problem, this week became a challenge the nation must confront and overcome,” the Post said in an editorial. “He is mounting a campaign of snarl and sneer, not substance. To the extent he has views, they are wrong in their diagnosis of America’s problems and dangerous in their proposed solutions. "Mr Trump’s politics of denigration and division could strain the bonds that have held a diverse nation together. "His contempt for constitutional norms might reveal the nation’s two-century-old experiment in checks and balances to be more fragile than we knew,” it continued. In November last year, he made an outrageous claim that thousands of New Jersey Muslims had celebrated the 9/11 attacks. Later, he called for a “total and complete shutdown” of America’s borders to Muslims in comments that prompted Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley to tweet “@realdonaldtrump removes all doubt: he is running for President as a fascist demagogue.” Trump then came out with an immigration plan to deport 11 million undocumented Hispanics from America. Worse, he vowed to build a wall along the Mexican borders if elected president of the world’s most powerful nation. In January, a turban-wearing Sikh protester was ejected from a Trump rally because he carried a banner reading “Stop Hate”. While Arish Singh was thrown out of the public meeting in Iowa, Trump was reported to have said: "He wasn’t wearing one of those hats was he? And he never will, and that’s okay - because we got to do something folks, because it’s not working.” There is a question about just how receptive Trump is to the notion of equality. From what he has said so far, it’s clear he’s averse to it. He believes in building walls and nourishing strong biases. Thus, I wonder whether the Sikh prayer Dhillon said at his nomination will change the perception that he has built among a cross-section of Americans and non-Americans. Or, will Trump himself take this unifying and spiritual command - high on symbolism - seriously enough and work to transform that perception? I don’t think he will, but he should.