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Sikh News US Congress honours Indian-American member

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Archived_Member16, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. Archived_Member16

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    Jan 7, 2005
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    US Congress honours Indian-American member

    8 Nov 2007
    WASHINGTON: Dilip Singh Saund, the first Indian-American to be elected to the US Congress nearly 50 years before Louisiana governor elect Bobby Jindal, has been honoured with a portrait in the complex.

    Saund, who represented the 29th congressional district of California in the US House of Representatives from 1957 until 1963, is the seventh person to be so honoured.

    The portrait unveiled on Wednesday, forms part of the House Fine Arts Board's programme to enhance the fine arts collection of the US Congress to include historically important members of the House.

    Born Sep 20, 1899, to a Sikh family in Chhajulwadi, Punjab, Saund came to the US in 1920 to attend the University of California at Berkeley. In 1924 he graduated and earned MA and PhD degrees in mathematics. He thereafter remained in the US, becoming a successful farmer.

    Subject to prejudice and discrimination, prohibited for owning land he farmed, his American wife having been stripped of her citizenship for marrying an "alien" man, Saund, however, did not waiver in his pursuit of the American dream.

    He became a founding member and the first president of the India Association of America. The primary task of the association was to secure citizenship rights for Indians.

    He ran for election in 1950 as a Justice of the Peace for Westmoreland township, California, and won the election, but his election was thrown out as he had been a citizen for less than a year. He later ran again for the same post and won.

    In November 1955, he announced his campaign to run for the United States House of Representatives as a Democrat and won an election for an open seat against a Republican aviator, Jacqueline Cochran.

    He was re-elected twice, becoming the first Asian American and Indian American member of Congress. In May 1962, he suffered a severe stroke, which left him unable to speak at all, or walk without assistance, thus ending his congressional career.

    Dalip Singh Saund (September 20, 1899–April 22, 1973)
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