Jalandhar, February 14
Sikhs settled in some of the European countries especially Holland, Belgium and Italy are now facing a new problem with regard to the naming of their children.
A Holland-based Sikh, Bhupinder Singh, who has authored books on the contribution of the Sikh soldiers in World Wars I and II in Europe, says the Holland Government had passed a law a few years ago. The law makes it mandatory for the child, taking birth out of wedlock of a boy or girl of Dutch nationality married in a second country, to bear the name of Dutch-nationality spouse. Sikhs, who are Dutch nationals, have been affected most by the new law.
“For example, a Dutch boy, Surinder Singh, has married a Sikh girl in Punjab, Sukhbir Kaur, of Indian nationality. A daughter is born to this family and her name is Amarjit Kaur. According to the Dutch law, her name will be registered in Town Hall as Amarjit Kaur Singh,” said Bhupinder Singh. Similar would be the case of a Dutch Sikh girl married in Punjab. Their son will get a name like Amrinder Singh Kaur, he added. “So this has changed our sacred tradition of Singh and Kaur,” he said in an email sent to The Tribune. Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-news/29240-sikhs-face-problems-naming-kids-europe.html
“This problem is in Holland, Belgium, Italy and many other European countries. The authority will register family name as Singh and surname as Amarjit Kaur or family name Kaur and surname as Amrinder Singh,” he claimed. Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=29240
“I have protested against this law and brought the matter to the notice of Minister for Justice,” Said Bhupinder Singh.
First, he referred me to the Town Hall and the Town Hall bluntly refused and cited the law made by the government. At the end, the Minister of Justice had advised me to go to court and to challenge this law. “I was fighting from Town Hall to the ministry and vice-versa and was convincing the political parties of Holland to stand with Sikhs on this matter as this law has damaged the spirit of Khalsa and their 300 years old Sikh tradition with regard to the naming of their children,” he said.
“Now the Christen Union Party with six seats of Parliament and partner with ruling Christen Democrative Party has raised this issue before the President of Law council and demanded to correct this mistake. Sikhs need to track the developments and work in whatever way they can to create a public opinion,” said Bhupinder Singh.