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India Sikhs Themselves Should First Start Maintaining Dignity Of Turban

Jan 7, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Sikhs themselves should first start maintaining dignity of turban

Thursday, August,08 2013 - 12:35

By Jagtar Singh- Punjabnewsline

: While the humiliation of the Sikhs at the airports in European and other countries who are asked to remove turbans in the name of security is highly condemnable and is an issue that hits the headlines every now and then, it is the Sikhs themselves who must first start maintaining the dignity of the turban, especially in Punjab that is the native land of this dynamic community.

The latest such incident was reported from Rome where a Sikh delegation led by none other than Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee Manjit Singh GK was asked to remove turbans. They refused and protested.

The DSGMC is the second most powerful elected body of the Sikhs after the Amritsar based Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) whose function is to create awareness about the Sikh religion at every level, besides managing the community shrines. Both the SGPC and the DSGMC have miserably failed in this mission despite huge resources at command. Both these bodies are now controlled by the Shiromani Akali Dal whose very first objective listed in its constitution is the protection and propagation of Sikh religion. Grabbing political power is the second objective.

The SGPC in its 2004 had promised to start a TV channel to propagate Sikh doctrine and take up issues related to the Sikh religion. This also included live telecast of Gurbani from the Golden Temple. Nothing has been heard about it. In case such a channel is started, it would end the monopoly of a TV channel group which has the exclusive right over the telecast of Gurbani from the Golden Temple. It may be mentioned that Bibi Jagir Kaur during her tenure as the SGPC chief had also planned to have own arrangement for this purpose from which any TV channel could have the rights to telecast the same rather than having a monopoly control of any channel.

The issue of not just the awareness about the Sikh religion all over the world but the basic problem is that the Sikhs themselves don’t respect the turban and this includes the elected representatives.

“Punjab Assembly sees fisticuffs, flying turbans” read a headline in a national daily on December 9, 2009. Involved in the ruckus were the members both from the ruling Akali Dal as well the opposition Congress. Three members had their turbans tossed. They included Virsa Singh Valtoha from the Akali Dal and Kewal Dhillon and Darshan Brar from the Congress. Dhillon’s turban was lost in the melee. That is the respect should by the MLAs to this most visible part of the Sikh symbol.

In one such case in 1986, now fifth time Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal himself was involved when he led the rebel Akali MLAs to the podium of Assembly Speaker Surjit Singh Minhas and his turban fell during the assault. It was the Akali Dal government with Surjit Singh Barnala as the Chief Minister.

Badal has now strongly condemned the action of the security officials at the Rome airport asking Manjit Singh and his associates to remove their turbans for security check.

The latest case is that of senior Punjab IAS officer Kahan Singh Pannu who was assaulted by the Sikh devotees to whose rescue he had gone to Gobind Dham in Uttrakhand during the catastrophe that took thousands of lives in the Kedarnath valley. Pannu was beaten up and his turban flew. His turban was not returned by the so called devotees who had gone to pay their obeisance at Gurdwara Hem Kunt which is associated with the name of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Guru who ordained the Sikhs to wear this head gear to make distinction of the Sikhs from pothers.

Ironically, the group of Manjit Singh was involved in a clash with the then DSGMC management headed by Paramjit Singh Sarna before the general elections to this body in which turbans were seen flying. Now he himself is the victim.

Punjab police is again notorious for disrespecting turbans and the same can be seen flying especially during lathi charges on the agitators. Sikhs in custody are not allowed to wear turbans in Punjab. “Ironically, there have been so many Akali Dal governments in power in Punjab but this rule dating back to the British days has not been amended. Let Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal first himself bring a resolution in the Assembly that the turban of a Sikh would not be removed by the police during custody. Rather than taking up the issue with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, he should himself first take the initiative”, said Dal Khalsa spokesman Kanwarpal Singh.

In some countries, Sikhs are confused with the Muslims whose religious leaders also sport turban. Of course, that turban is different.

But then the SGPC and the DSGMC should not only launch mass awareness campaign about the Sikh level at the international level rather than wasting time in petty squabbles, the Sikh themselves should desist from such actions of tossing turbans which bring bad name to the community.

Jan 26, 2012
Both these bodies are now controlled by the Shiromani Akali Dal whose very first objective listed in its constitution is the protection and propagation of Sikh religion. Grabbing political power is the second objective.
Oh really...... [raises eyebrow slowly]

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Shabad Vichaar by SPN'ers

The shabd under discussion in this article is composed by Guru Teg Bahadur ji and is contained on Page 633 of the SGGS. The complete shabd is as follows:

ਸੋਰਿਠ ਮਹਲਾ ੯॥...​

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