Global online petition to ban Sikh jokes gains momentum

New Delhi, Dec.13 (ANI): An online petition started by Delhi Sikh community on website to demand a ban on Sikh jokes that ridiculed the community has gained momentum worldwide.

The petition has been written by R P S Kohli, a West Delhi businessman, who said, “Today, the country talks of tolerance and freedom of speech, but a higher virtue is civility. To be intolerant to racist remarks and jokes is the need of the hour. India needs to evolve in civilized behaviour which is the mark of any progressive society.”

So far, this petition has more than 27,000 signatures online and around 45,000 signatures offline.

“We expect to have 100,000 signatures by the end of December 2015” said Manjit Singh G.K., President Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee here today.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is among those who have supported the cause as he signed the petition during his visit to Gurdwara Rakabganj during Guru Nanak Jayanti on November 28,2015.

Comedians Gurpreet Ghuggi and Sunil Pal, actor Manmeet Singh, radio jockey and voice over artist O P Rathore, the Church of North India and hundreds of other celebrities have also signed the online petition.

The online campaign started by Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee calls for a ban on 5,000-odd websites that carry Sikh jokes which are making fun of Sikhs like ’12 baj gaye’ and other taunts.

Started on November 3, 2015, this petition has got all around support from Sikh students, youth from all across India and abroad.

Students of 18 Guru Harkishan Public Schools in Delhi have been the most enthusiastic in supporting and signing this petition.

Recently, students from 129 Akal Academies in Punjab too joined this movement.

Manjit Singh G.K. said the online petition has had a positive impact on mindset of society and added that Jallandhar-based Sikh comedians Gurpreet Singh and Prabhpreet Singh who have been performing under the names of Santa and Banta for the last 18 years since 1997, have announced to drop their stage names and adapt new ones.

They will now be known as Shugli (Gurpreet) and Jugli (Prabhpreet). Together, they would be known as Shugli Jodi translated as the comic pair.

Mr G.K. said the petition has received an outstanding response, with many suggesting that such jokes be taken off websites and filters are put in place to stop more such jokes on the internet.

The Sikh community is not willing to take these “insults” lying down any longer as they violate the fundamental right to life and to live with dignity, he added.

The main contention of the petition is that Sikhs,are a vibrant, confident and generous community and sites carrying jokes against them need to be banned on reined in.

The offline campaign launched during the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev at Gurdwara Rakabganj has so far attracted over 20,000 signatures.

Arrangements are being made by DSGMC to collate all signatures and submit it to the Supreme Court before the onset of the winter vacations.

The next hearing on the petition is slated for January 4, 2016, when the courts reopen. (ANI)

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