The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has reportedly started an online petition for school children studying in around 18 Guru Harikrishan Public schools in New Delhi to generate support for banning Sikh jokes, and also involving them in constructive community service.
The campaign for banning Sikh jokes started some days back, and the online petition has so far received over 13,000 signatures in the ten days since the launch of the Change.org website.
“The petition is gathering momentum, and what we’re seeing from the nearly 13000 comments, is that people from various sections of society, including non-Sikhs, have welcomed the chance to protest against these jokes which hurt the feeling of Sikhs and shows them in poor light.
DSGMC president Manjit Singh GK said, “It was decided to start the online petition by the student community and to actively involve around 25000 students studying in Sikh minority education institutions in the ‘Ban Sikh Jokes’ movement under the aegis of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee after a Sikh women advocate Harvinder Choudhary had filed a petition in the supreme Court seeking a ban on Sikh jokes for hurting religious sentiments of the community.”
Manjit Singh GK further said that both teachers and students have been asked to meet the target of one lakh online signatures within the timeline of four weeks. He said that the DSGMC will provide all technical and logistic support to the schools for facilitating the signature drive.
He added that the committee has also given options to school teachers to get signatures on separate sheets of paper for students who do not have e-mail ids and do not use online accounts for one reason or the other.
He said that students will also be encouraged to get the signatures of their parents and also the signatures of non-sikh students so to as to generate mass support among all sections of society.
He said the DSGMC will also provide publicity material like posters,visiting cards that will be displayed in each classroom to generate awareness among students about the movement so as to emotionally integrate and involve them with the cause.
Manjit Singh GK exhorted both parents and teachers to be positive and get involved in constructive community service for the country.
“It is generally seen that ignorants are bullying Sikh children with ‘12 baj gaye’ and other taunts. Our children should use positive dialogue like Guru Nanak used five centuries ago, and remind them of the historic significance of ‘12 baj gaye’ when Sikhs at this time freed thousands of Indian girls and women from the clutches of Ahmed Shah Abdali,” he said.
“We all have to be proud Indian citizens with a global outlook. We should seek and mobilise support on all social media platforms for this campaign. The need of the hour is to let Indian society know that we love humour but not racism. We are proud Indians and the country has benefitted from our contributions in almost every field. It is time that Sikh children should not face bullying or insults in the name of casual fun,” he said.
Enthused children took a pledge to generate support for the petition from all quarters and bring an end to the bullying and taunts that they are subjected to.