President Obama stands with, he stands behind you and he stands in  solidarity with you. And we all have a responsibility to remind Americans  what makes us great' Obama's senior adviser Valerie Jarrett told a gathering  of the Sikh community from across the US. The programme opened with Jesse Moore, Associate Director of Public  Engagement, welcoming the guests.

This was followed by a Sikh hymn performed by Manpreet  Singh and Raghubir Singh from New Jersey on  classical instruments like taus, dilruba and jodi. When Jarrett greeted the gathering saying 'Happy Gurpurab' a room full of  Sikh men, women, and children cheered and clapped, according to a media  release.

“This sends an assuring signal to the entire community that this nation  stands behind it,” he said. Valerie Jarrett was given a Phulkari shawl, a typical Punjabi speciality,  and a book on Sikh heritage and ethos as she was honoured by Sikh  representatives from Sikh Coalition, Sikh Council on Religion and Education  and United Sikhs.

“In his keynote address, Amritjit Singh of Ohio University discussed about  'Guru Nanak: Equality and Social Justice'. 'Guru Nanak's message has special resonance for us today where fear and  ignorance are giving rise to hatred, violence, and intolerance,” he said.  The Guru had a sharp eye for the patterns of hypocrisy, intolerance, and  exploitation.

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