The Roti Club

Swaranjit Singh is running for City Council from Queens

Photo by Howard Koplowitz.

Swaranjit Singh is running for New York City Council, representing Queens. An underdog in a new campaign for a new voting enclave, he’s running, in part, to ensure that “roti-eating people” have a voice, and a say, in New York’s politics:

My biggest goal is to unite the roti-eating people. Only when we are united, thats the way we can get any [political] positions, Singh said… We can make a difference… [link]

He emphasized that he’s running to represent all people in the district, but that the desi population in the region is rapidly growing and that there’s a need for community participation and cultural understanding throughout government. At present, desis (mostly Sikh) represent roughly 34% of his district’s population.


Singh has only been fundraising for six months, but already outpaces all other non-incumbent candidates. The source of his rapidly growing campaign chest? Queens’ local Sikh community:

Nearly 97 percent of his 681 campaign contributions are from Sikhs in the district and Richmond Hill, but Singh said he would be a representative for [sic] the all the people who live in the district. [link]

Running for the seat won’t be easy — he’s likely to go up against a local Assemblyman (who has indicated a desire to step down to a more local seat to be near his family), and he’s also running outside of the Democratic machine in the region. And that’s before we factor in whatever biases might take hold of the race once we factor in the “turban effect”:

People might think Im part of the Taliban or a first cousin to Osama, he said. I have nothing to do with the Taliban or Osama. I have to educate my fellow New Yorkers that Im a Sikh and that my religion is Sikhism. [link]

In addition to managing a real estate office, Singh is most known for working with community and corporate organizations to offer informational and sensitivity trainings. Perhaps it’s this community-based element, paired with his experience serving in public office (as a member of Community Board 13) that has folks excited. Citing the success of President Obama’s campaign, Sikhs in the district are bustling at the idea of combatting racism and breaking new boundaries in the region:

Hes working so hard for the Sikh community, Kaur said. With him in office, we can get the platform to raise our voices about things like our kids facing racism in the schools.

Hes our Barack Obama, Mandeep Singh said. [link]

I’m excited to see how this campaign develops. While running out of a strong Sikh base, Singh has also worked to loop in his prospective constituents, who are Caribbean and Latino as well. The broad energy behind his campaign, paired with what seems like a sensible approach to politics, could be a refreshing voice for the City Council. I’ll keep you updated as information continues to unfold.


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13 Responses to “The Roti Club”

  1. Sardar Swaranjit Singh ji,

    Sat Sri Akal

    To remove any apprehensions and the misgivings about your identity of being of a Sikh from religion, Sikhism, you can refer our Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, a turbaned Sikh and an exceptional personality as one of the renowned economists of the world, to whom the educated fellow New Yorkers must be knowing and also remind them about him during the campaign. I feel so, rest, you may know better.

    Moreover, the idea of Roti Club, thought up by your son, Abhijit Rikhy who serves as your campaign treasurer and consultant would help to achieve your biggest goal to unite the roti?eating people to get the [political] positions.

    In addition to it, your determination, provided services to South Asians and the keen interest as you want the city to hear the concerns of South Asians, and by giving 102,000 reasons why it should plus the fund raising capacity for the well-beings of all for the elections as per the principles enshrined our religion Sikhism, will definitely contribute to your success. Let us hope, you may prove Obama.

  2. Sardar Swaranjit Singh ji,
    Sat Sri Akal
    To remove any apprehensions and the misgivings about your identity of being of a Sikh from religion, Sikhism, you can refer our Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, a turbaned Sikh and an exceptional personality as one of the renowned economists of the world, to whom the educated fellow New Yorkers must be knowing and also remind them about him during the campaign. I feel so, rest, you may know better.
    Moreover, the idea of Roti Club, thought up by your son, Abhijit Rikhy who serves as your campaign treasurer and consultant would help to achieve your biggest goal to unite the roti?eating people to get the [political] positions.
    In addition to it, your determination, provided services to South Asians and the keen interest as you want the city to hear the concerns of South Asians, and by giving 102,000 reasons why it should plus the fund raising capacity for the well-beings of all for the elections as per the principles enshrined our religion Sikhism, will definitely contribute to your success. Let us hope, you may prove Obama.

  3. Rick D. says:

    It's unfortunate that the writer needs to insert "biases" into this article and the race for Council Member, but Mr. Singh seems to be the one candidate that has formed his whole campaign around race.

    The two main candidates for Council Member, Bob Friedrich and Mark Weprin, will work for all of the people in the district, and not favor any specific religious group. Mr. Singh can learn from these two candidates.

  4. Rick D. says:

    It’s unfortunate that the writer needs to insert “biases” into this article and the race for Council Member, but Mr. Singh seems to be the one candidate that has formed his whole campaign around race.

    The two main candidates for Council Member, Bob Friedrich and Mark Weprin, will work for all of the people in the district, and not favor any specific religious group. Mr. Singh can learn from these two candidates.

  5. RotiEater says:

    Tell you what Rick D., Mr. Singh has my vote along with all the Roti eaters :-)

  6. RotiEater says:

    Tell you what Rick D., Mr. Singh has my vote along with all the Roti eaters :-)

  7. A True Sikh as a Roti Eater Deserves no criticism:

    Roti club meant for the unity of the people who can properly send a signal about the candidate that a Sikh from Sikhism is a symbol of humanity and for the well being of all, but not only of a race in the real sense within the scope and meaning of Sikh and Sikhism from among the South Asians in the district.

    It should be truly projected as Swaranjit Singh very categorically emphasized that he’s running to represent all people in the district, but that the desi population in the region is rapidly growing and there’s a need for community participation and cultural understanding throughout government. He is on the right track to fight racism.

    Swaranjit Singh who also teaches tolerance, diversity and respect for other cultures to community groups and corporations as to how he could be racial in the sense? A true Sikh like him never deserves any such criticism from any quarter of the high society of the district in face of the victory of Mr. Barack Obama as the President of America recently.

    Swaranjit Singh’s more stress is mainly on the point during the campaign that, the meaning of a Sikh, people of district must understand in the right perspective as a symbol of humanity only nothing else in order to elect him to serve the district as representative of all. With the submission, he is in the field.

  8. A True Sikh as a Roti Eater Deserves no criticism:
    Roti club meant for the unity of the people who can properly send a signal about the candidate that a Sikh from Sikhism is a symbol of humanity and for the well being of all, but not only of a race in the real sense within the scope and meaning of Sikh and Sikhism from among the South Asians in the district.

    It should be truly projected as Swaranjit Singh very categorically emphasized that hes running to represent all people in the district, but that the desi population in the region is rapidly growing and theres a need for community participation and cultural understanding throughout government. He is on the right track to fight racism.

    Swaranjit Singh who also teaches tolerance, diversity and respect for other cultures to community groups and corporations as to how he could be racial in the sense? A true Sikh like him never deserves any such criticism from any quarter of the high society of the district in face of the victory of Mr. Barack Obama as the President of America recently.

    Swaranjit Singhs more stress is mainly on the point during the campaign that, the meaning of a Sikh, people of district must understand in the right perspective as a symbol of humanity only nothing else in order to elect him to serve the district as representative of all. With the submission, he is in the field.

  9. Camille says:

    Rick D., from what I understand, Mark Weprin is not standing for re-election.

    Further, as a topical and community-specific blog I limited coverage to the candidate of interest for our readership. Thank you, nonetheless, for visiting, and please feel free to share information regarding other candidates — within the boundaries of our comment policy.

  10. Camille says:

    Rick D., from what I understand, Mark Weprin is not standing for re-election.

    Further, as a topical and community-specific blog I limited coverage to the candidate of interest for our readership. Thank you, nonetheless, for visiting, and please feel free to share information regarding other candidates — within the boundaries of our comment policy.

  11. Sawaranjit Singh is the economist of the India and he is sharing his thought about the culture prevailing out in the India. He is emphasizing people to make more involuntary actions to prosper for the development of the society in the better ways.

  12. The assignment and essay writing are very composite and detailed methods foot his success the skills are advanced for the creation and analysis of the data. The material is very natural and critical.

  13. Tommie says:

    I just love to read new topics from you blog.~~~`�