UK UK Sikh Body Raising Concerns On Eve Of French President's Visit


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
UK Sikh body active on raising concerns on eve of French President’s visit to India


London, United Kingdom (February 13, 2014): President Francois Hollande will be visiting New Delhi on February 14-15 on his first trip to India since being elected in May 2012.

The Sikh Federation (UK) has been in contact with Sikhs in France to urge them to raise French opposition to India carrying out the death penalty.

Bhai Amrik Singh, Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said:

‘India has now challenged the civilised world and in particular the 27 EU countries by carrying out two hangings in last three months. The Indian media and politicians have now said Balwant Singh Rajoana and Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar should be next.’

‘We have requested Sikh representatives in France to contact President Francois Hollande as a matter of urgency so he takes up this issue on their behalf.’

Similarly, the Sikh Federation (UK) is urging Sikhs in Punjab and those in Delhi to raise the issue of religious discrimination against the minority Sikh community in France when President Francois Hollande in there later this week.

Bhai Amrik Singh, Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said:

‘The United Nations has in the last 12 months taken two decisions in support of the Sikhs right to freely wear their turbans. Since President Francois Hollande is making his first visit to India since being elected in May 2012 this is an opportunity for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to directly raise the issue with the French President.’

‘The French have always given the signal that the French law introduced in 2004 has had unintended consequences for Sikh children in schools. But given the UN rulings the French have an opportunity to find a way of allowing Sikh children to freely wear their turbans and also not having to force Sikhs to remove their turbans for the purposes of ID photographs. Where there is a will, there is way.’


Jan 29, 2011
Vancouver, Canada

A Sikh school is opening its doors in a Paris suburb for the first time on Saturday in the wake of tougher French laws on religious dress.The special school in Bobigny was set up after secularisation laws in 2004 prevented Sikh boys from wearing their traditional turbans in class.
Several boys dropped out of mainstream education in protest.
The Sikh school was built by a local entrepreneur whose son was excluded from a public school three years ago.
The boy had refused to remove his turban in class.
The French laws ban the wearing of prominent religious symbols such as Muslim headscarves or Sikh turbans in public places like offices or schools.
The Sikh school will start with fewer than 15 pupils but it is hoped that a Sikh college will open later in the year to allow older boys to take business qualifications.
Although the school will celebrate its inauguration over the weekend, it is unlikely to begin classes on Monday because it is still waiting for a final approval from the local education authority.