Sukhchain Singh has been remembering his friend, Satwant Singh Kaleka, president of the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, where a gunman killed six people including Kaleka on Sunday.
“I have very deep memories of that place, that person and even the congregation,” Singh told Patch Monday. He is a professor of English, law and Sikhism visiting and preaching at the on Hairston Road in Stone Mountain. He said he last had dinner with Kaleka in 2009.
When he learned of Kaleka’s passing, “I could not sleep for many hours,” Singh said.
He remembered Kaleka wanting to talk about spiritual matters, picking him up in Chicago, and driving him back to Oak Creek, where “I would be given the opportunity to speak at his Gurdwara,” Singh said.
Singh said he has been talking with others in the Sikh community about adding security in light of Sunday's shootings. Nevertheless, he said, everyone --- regardles of faith, creed, etc. -- is still welcome at any Sikh temple, he said.
Authorities in Oak Creek have identified the shooter as Wade Michael Page, who was shot and killed by police at the scene.
Singh said such shootings “are the acts of closed minds.”
But he also put the tragedy -- and life -- in perspective from a religious standpoint.
“As part of our Sikh faith, we are ordained to surrender to the will of God,” Singh said. “Whatever is going to happen, that happens.”
“We don’t want any harm to any person at any time.”