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India Making helmets mandatory for Sikhs driving two wheelers and bikes for safety aspect?

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Archived_Member16, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. Archived_Member16

    Archived_Member16
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    Making helmets mandatory for Sikhs driving two wheelers and bikes for safety aspect?

    Thursday, April 12, 2012 - 18:15

    By Tajinder Singh- Punjabnewsline.com

    CHANDIGARH: The issue of making helmets mandatory for Sikhs while driving and riding on two-wheelers and super bikes has been debatable but with the changing times there had been voices from certain quarters even within Sikh Community that safety should be given top priority rather than other considerations on the basis of gender, religion and so on.

    Presently, we are living in items of rapidly changing technology and due to this, the two-wheelers are being manufactured with the latest equipment and technical knowhow pushing up the speed limits gallop a speed in the range of 100 to 150 kilomtres per hour. And some of the high-powered super bikes hit a massive speed even beyond 180 kilometres per hour.

    Manpreet Singh, an engineering student says that though putting on protecting headgear or helmet while driving bikes and two-wheelers always has been a sensitive issue but he said that personally I feel that It is religion for those who oppose it and safety for those who support it. But if the things were so simple then I would not have been writing this. Should a Sikh wear a helmet while driving? This is a million dollar question and if somebody was to preach this basic safety measure then he might find a million dollars reward imposed on his head by religious red-necks and vote-bank hungry politicians.

    When Delhi government tried to make crash helmets mandatory for women two wheeler riders, DSGMC president Paramjit Singh Sarna argued against this decision by saying that “Sikhs are a minority community and it is a sensitive issue. A mandatory order would inflame sentiments, lead to protests and make the whole thing into a major issue.” Acknowledging the safety benefits of helmets, Sarna said there would be “no objection” if an individual Sikh woman chose to wear one, but stressed that ordering the community to do so would prompt a passionate backlash.

    The figures of number of people dying in road accidents in India present staggering figures. About 133,938 people or 366 a day died on India’s roads in 2010, according to the National Crime Records Bureau, more than any other country.

    India’s Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 stated that every person driving or riding a two-wheeler had to wear a helmet, but this sparked uproar from the Sikh community which vehemently opposed this law claiming it was against Sikh religious tenets. Sikh men were later exempted from wearing helmets because they were adamant that their religion prohibits them to wear anything on turbans.

    The Delhi government had to make wearing of helmets for women as an option as it is difficult to identify Sikh women from the women of other religions. And this fact is quite ironical to the Sikh tenets that Guru Gobind Singh did not make any discrimination between men and women while laying down the foundations of Sikhism. It is historically verified fact that baptized Sikh women used to wear turbans. It can be said that men are now only sole symbolic representatives of Essential Sikh Identity while 99% Sikh women are visibly similar to women of other religions from their outlook.

    A judge in Brampton, Ontario rejected a human rights challenge to an Ontario law few years back, ruling that motorcyclists must wear helmets while riding because safety concerns outweigh religious rights. Ontario court of Justice Judge James Blacklock ruled against a challenge to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act that had been launched by Baljinder Badesha who was fined $110 in 2005 for not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle. Badesha, who was wearing a turban at the time, refused to pay the fine, arguing that the law was discriminatory because it violated his religious rights. The Ontario Human Rights Commission had supported his position, saying the issue was about religious accommodation.

    Former Chandigarh mayor Ms Harjinder Kaur opposed crash helmets for women by saying, “Compelling a Sikh woman to put on a loh tope is against the tenets of the Sikh religion and it must be stopped forthwith.”

    However, Parminder Kaur from Ludhiana said that I had a close brush with death some days back as my two-wheeler (Honda Activa) was hit by another vehicle and it damaged me immensely including resulting in head injury. She said that she managed to recovered but emphasized that helmets should be must for everybody irrespective of the fact one belonging to particular religion and community.

    Now the question is that how far we can be rigid in making religion a shield and not shielding our heads from the imminent fatal dangers to our lives. Human body is not made to move at the speeds that we achieve with the vehicles we ride. The youngsters these days ride superbikes at storming speeds and if a Sikh rider is riding a Harley at 100 plus speed then any mishap will not consider his religious credentials if his bike skids or collides with a vehicle.

    WHO report says that crash helmets save 72% head injuries and 39% chances of loosing life in accidents.

    In Indian army Sikh combatants use armoured headgear which definitely protects them from bullet injuries. And when Sikh cricketers like Harbhajan Singh and Monty Panesar face ***** at whooping 140 to 150km/s then they have to wear helmets for safety, otherwise they might get serious or even fatal injuries. Akshay Kumar in his movie Speedy Singhs came with a historical model of a warrior helmet which was used by all Sikh ice hockey team in the movie.

    The question here should not be about the human rights or free will of an individual. First and the foremost right of an individual is right to life and it is the duty of every human being to guard this right. No religion will ask its followers to go and bang their heads into a wall, then why are we not ready to wear a crash helmet to save our own life and lives of our loved ones.

    Now if somebody likes to differ with me, they can do that but they also know that in most of the cases a turban will come off from our head in the event of an accident.

    source:
    http://www.punjabnewsline.com/conte...ng-two-wheelers-and-bikes-safety-aspect/42030
     
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  3. Kanwaljit Singh

    Kanwaljit Singh India
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    I had a Sikh friend who wore cap sometimes with patka while driving. And he was caught by traffic police. He clarified he is Sikh so he cannot be stopped. He spent rest of the day visibly angry.
     
  4. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
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    In Vancouver we have the 'sikh motorcycle club'- the only one of it's kind in Canada. It was the first and original in North America but I think there is one down in California now.
    I have often seen some of these members riding on weekends and they do look real good, especially the Harley's.


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    This club is so popular because these sikhs standout with their turbans instead of helmets. I don't think they would be too pleased if they were told to wear helmets instead.
     
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  5. ugsbay

    ugsbay United Kingdom
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  6. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    99% of two wheelers cannot get past speed 100 KMh in India and for the other 1% you need to be on express ways to take them beyond 100.BTW author should present some stats that how many Sikhs are getting injured or dying because of two wheeler accidents
     
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  7. passingby

    passingby
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    I would be surprised if if somebody could point out a road where a motorbike could reach 150 km/hr in Punjab, or Chandigarh region. I have lived all my life in Chandigarh region.
     

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