Pained over the non-inclusion of Sikh Regiment in the Republic Day Parade, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Avtar Singh Makkar has decided to take up the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee.
The SGPC chief said it was very disappointing that the Sikh regiment was not part of the Republic Day parade in which French President Francois Hollande was the chief guest.
“Last year when US President Barack Obama was chief guest on the occasion, the Sikh regiment was very much included in the contingent and the turbaned soldiers were a treat to watch. Why the regiment was ignored this time can’t be understood and we will take up this matter with the PM,” added Makkar.
Claiming that around 30 percent Sikhs were part of the Indian navy, air force and army and have been part of important battles and have brought glory to the nation, he said, “It’s shocking that the government ignored them.”
“Already Sikhs in France have been facing many issues as far as their identity is concerned. We especially wrote to the PM to take up the Sikh issues with the visiting French President. But shockingly, the Sikh Regiment was kept away from the Republic Day parade,” said Makkar.
He added that at a time when the SGC was trying its best to tell the importance of turban to the French President, the Union government did not include the turbaned soldiers in the parade. Accusing the Centre of partiality, Makkar said the act of the government had left many Sikhs around the world disappointed.