The first book with a Sikh main character has been published by a major American publishing house.
The book published by Penguin Random House is entitled Fauja Singh Keeps Going: The True Story of the Oldest Person to Ever Run a Marathon.
Simran Jeet Singh’s book tells the story of Sikh runner Fauja Singh, who became the oldest person to run a marathon at 100 years old, reports the Texas Standard.
Simran Jeet Singh, 36, says he had been determined to write a book featuring a Sikh main character after noticing a lack of Sikh representation as a child.
“I remember asking if there is anything where someone looks like me and my family on the pages and they said, ‘It’s just not relatable,'” he told TODAY.
Singh was inspired to write Fauja Singh Keeps Going after seeing Fauja Singh in an Adidas ad alongside Muhammad Ali and David Beckham.
“Alongside them was this older man in a beard and a turban and my jaw drops. I have never in my life seen someone from my community on TV being represented in a positive light.”
“For most of my life, the only depictions of people with turbans and beards had been incredibly negative,” he added. “They’re depicted as terrorists.”
Singh hopes that a positive representation of a Sikh character will help to combat racism and negative stereotypes held against the Sikh community.
“If we can teach our kids to see the humanity in the people most different from them, then they’ll be able to see the humanity in everyone they encounter,” he said.
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