‘We will now be protected’: Sikhs get legal rights in Chile

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Mar 27, 2016 10:24 IST
Members of Sikh Dharma Chile rejoicing the new freedom in the South American country. (Photo courtesy: Sikhnet )

Chile’s more than 200 legally recognised religions didn’t include Sikhism until this January 25. It took the fledgling Sikh community in the South American western-edge country four years to win this privilege.

“Now we will be protected, with more safety in our jobs, besides health and political systems,” Rupinder Kaur Khalsa of Sikh Dharma Chile said of the legalisation, adding: “We can even hold public gatherings now.”

“The legalisation process started four years ago with the creating of legal documents to describe what a turban and Sikh religion is, who we are, what do we want from legalisation, and what our values as Sikhs are. Then, it was waiting for the Chilean government to approve this, which it did in January,” said Khalsa, as reported by online portal Sikhnet.

Sikh missionary Harbhajan Singh Khalsa “Yogi Bhajan” had introduced the religion to Chile in the late 20th century. Through his inspiration, people in the South American country began to adopt the faith. Now, there is a thriving community of Chilean-born Sikh families in the country, who organise many religious events.

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