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India Indian Government Fails To Resolve Turban Issue With France


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
PATIALA: Sikhs have from years been facing the humiliation in various countries due
to their Turbans. France is one among such nations where tying turban is still not accepted, said Basant Singh Panjhattha, France Sikh Council President.

Basant Singh expressed these views during his visit to Samana, Patiala, on Thursday, in an address to the media persons. He said that Sikhs were facing a lot of discrimination and ill- treatment in France. He also condemned the false statements of certain national leaders of India to find out solutions to the problems faced by the Sikhs. The statements could only earn them a false name and nothing more, said Basant Singh.

Basant Singh told that, since 2004, the Sikhs in France have been forced to put up a bare-head photograph on their identity cards and other governmental documents. The entry of Sikh students with turbans in the schools is strictly banned which is very humiliating, he added.

He also told that the France Sikh Council has many times approached the France Government regarding this issue but the government every time told them that they have not been permitted by the Indian Home Ministry to take up the issue and so they should better approach the home ministry in this regard.

Basant Singh lamented that despite the good relations shared by both the countries; Indian government has not yet taken up the issue seriously and behaving in an irresponsible manner. He further said that it is fateful that Indian Prime Minister himself being a turban- tying Sikh did not do anything to ease other Sikhs in France. He blamed the non-seriousness of the government to cause an embarrassment to many religious leaders from Punjab and India due to turban-frisking at the international airports.

He also told that the Sikhs, who sought a political asylum in France during the black days of ’84 in Punjab, were neither being issued new passports nor were their old passports being renewed. He showed concerns that if the Sikhs in France along with their families were not issued passports, they won’t be able to go to their homeland.

The France Sikh Council has appealed the Govt. of India, Govt. of Punjab and the Union Home Ministry to consider and sort out the matter of ‘Turban tying’ with utmost seriousness. He also demanded that the black list of the Sikhs should be shunned so that they may come back to their native land and add to the economy of the nation.

Basant Singh was welcomed by writer Gurnam Singh Chauhan and Balkar Singh Bhullar at Samana.




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