UN intervention sought on ban on Sikh religious symbols

Chandigarh, Aug 1 (IANS) A Sikh organisation on Tuesday sought the UN’s intervention in the matter of various countries banning certain religious symbols of the community.

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has urged the UN Secretary General to pass a resolution in the General Assembly of the world body to give exemption to Sikhs residing in different countries to wear their religious symbols.

In a letter to the UN Secretary General, DSGMC General Secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsa highlighted the importance of the five religious symbols or articles of faith as prescribed by the Sikh Gurus.

“Wearing these articles of faith is a must for every Sikh man and woman. We have observed that problems being faced by Sikhs in different countries is due to laws implemented in the particular country, and the courts of these countries upheld the criminal cases against the Sikhs without any wrongdoing by them because courts are bound to follow the law of the land,” the letter has pointed out.

He said the problem was the result of ignorance on the part of the governments of these nations about the importance of these religious symbols.

Noting that members of the community, though small in number, have contributed largely in the process of development and economic growth of various countries, Sirsa urged the UN to take up the matter on priority.

Various countries like France, Italy and others have banned certain religious symbols like the ‘Kirpan’ (a small knife with a cover), ‘kara’ (a steel bangle) and turban.

–IANS

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