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India SGPC To Roll Out Global Sikh Identity Campaign


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
AMRITSAR: Upset over the increasing pat-down of turbans at airports in the US, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Tuesday decided to embark upon a worldwide awareness campaign on Sikh identity.

The campaign would lay particular focus on the five religious symbols worn by the community – kara, kacha, kirpan, kanga and kesh. Further, it would supply all foreign missions in India and abroad with literature on Sikhism and the Sikh symbols.

The campaign was decided at a meeting of the SGPC executive chaired by President Avtar Singh Makkar here on Tuesday.

“We will send parcharaks to different countries to create awareness about Sikh identity, culture and symbols, which give the community a distinct identity,” said Makkar, who addressed the media after the meeting.

For the purpose, the committee would get Sikh literature printed in different languages, added Makkar.

“The Sikh identity is facing a crisis, particularly since 9/11, and we need to create awareness,” he said.

When pointed out that the steps being taken were belated as after 9/11, the French government bad imposed a ban on wearing turbans to school, Makkar said, “Better late than never”. The executive also decided to supply the literature in different languages to the United Nations and its member nations. “The Sikhs have a distinct identity and their turban is different from the head gears worn by some other communities,” said the SGPC chief.

The executive condemned the alleged pat-down on India’s permanent representative to the UN, Hardeep Puri, at the Houston airport earlier this month.

The meeting clearly stated that the turban is a distinct part of the Sikh dress code.

The executive endorsed the December 23 dharna, which the SGPC will be-holding outside the US mission in Delhi to protest the issue.



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