PM raises turban issue with Sarkozy
Manmohan Singh discusses the ban on turbans with visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy, during bilateral talks.india Updated: Jan 26, 2008 14:46 IST
France explained to India that there is no ban on turbans, but only restrictions "in certain circumstances".
Informed sources said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh raised the issue of ban on turbans, a Sikh religious symbol, with the visiting French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, during their bilateral talks in New Delhi on Friday.
"He told us that there was no ban on turbans in France. But, there were restrictions on its use in certain circumstances like for a photo for driving licenses," said a senior official.
There has been pressure from Sikh religious groups on the UPA government to raise the turban issue, especially on the "ban" on religious symbols in French public schools. A delegation of Sikh Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee met French ambassador to India Jerome Bonnafont earlier this week as well as senior officials in the external affairs ministry to lobby against the reported ban.
India has been raising this issue with France since 2004, but Paris had explained that the law applied equally to all religious denominations.