Washington, May 23 (IANS): American Sikhs have hailed as "historic" the passage in the Indian parliament of Anand Marriage Act for the registration of Sikh marriages.
"This is a historic day for Sikhs in Independent India after a long and hard struggle," said Rajwant Singh, chairman of the Washington based Sikh Council on Religion and Education.
"Not having a full recognition of their observances and their customs in India had created a sense of lack among Sikhs in India and it questioned their independent identity as a community," he said.
However, a comprehensive law on recognition the Sikh marriage is still needed, he said appealing to Sikh leaders to involve various sections of Sikh intelligentsia for community wide deliberations on the issue.
I.J. Singh, a New York based Sikh commentator and author of several books on Sikhism, said: "Passage of Anand Marriage Amendment is obviously important for Sikhs in India and Sikhs across the world."
Ranjit Singh, chairman of the Maryland based Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, said: "We are pleased with the outcome of this long standing struggle. Finally Sikhs in India have the chance to feel that they are fully acknowledged."
It is important for Sikh leaders to evolve consensus on the next phase of the process, he said.