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SGPC terms Supreme Court query on turban unfortunate

The reaction came following an HT report “Is turban mandatory for Sikhs or just covering head will do, asks SC” on April 20.

punjab Updated: Apr 21, 2018 23:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Turban,SGPC,Supreme Court
SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal (HT FIle)

The Supreme Court query on turban has irked various Sikh organisations, including the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), which termed the development unfortunate.

The reaction came following an HT report “Is turban mandatory for Sikhs or just covering head will do, asks SC” on April 20.

A Delhi-based cyclist, Jagdeep Singh Puri, had challenged a local cycling association’s rules that required him to wear a helmet to participate in a championship following which the SC asked the question on Friday. The SC also wondered whether wearing a turban was necessary under the religion or just covering one’s head was.

Taking a serious note of the query, SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal said: “It is unfair to force Sikh players to wear helmet in place of turban which is integral part of the Sikh religion.”

“During both World Wars, Sikh soldiers fought wearing turbans. In the history of free India, there has been a turbaned president and prime minister. In foreign countries, turbaned Sikhs have got key positions in governments,” he said in a statement here.

Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) chief Paramjit Singh Sarna said: “What right does the Supreme Court or as a matter of fact anyone has to put a question mark on the proud symbol of Sikh identity?”

Advocate Jaswinder Singh, president of Akal Purakh Ki Fauj, said: “Judges’ comments are very disheartening. They are citing the example of Milkha Singh and Bishan Singh Bedi for not wearing turban to encourage Sikhs to sport patkas. They need to understand the sentiments of community while addressing any religious issue.”

First Published: Apr 21, 2018 23:08 IST