VIOLATIVE OF SIKH TENETS AND MARAYADA
WRITES TO PM PROTESTING THE MOVE; SEEKS HIS INTERVENTION
Chandigarh, January 13 – Shiromani Akali Dal president Sardar Sukhbir Singh Badal today appealed to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to personally intervene against the implementation of the reported move of the Government of India to make helmets mandatory for Sikhs in the country’s armed forces. Describing the move as “provocative and insensitive in the extreme” Mr Badal said that it was not just unprecedented in history but also defied all logic as Sikh soldiers had always remained in the forefront of the country’s defense without ever feeling the need for such helmets in the past.
“If details emerging from various sources including newspaper reports are indeed true, then we are surprised that the Government has shown such callous disregard for the time honoured and established Sikh tenets, norms and practices on a matter of such critical emotional and religious sensitivity. It concerns Sikh Marayada which no one has a right to tinker or trifle with,” said Mr Badal in a letter to the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi.
He, however, hoped that the PM would look into the matter and order that necessary action be taken to stop any proposal in this regard. “Not even the British had forced such a decision on the Sikh soldiers. Sikhs are fiercely patriotic people and have led from the front in 1948, 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars as also in all other military operations including Kargil. Why this sudden development when no Sikh had ever felt the need for such a protection?” asked Mr Badal, adding that he still hoped that the reports in this regard are not true.
In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Badal also drew Mr Modi’s attention to the serious concern expressed by Jathedar Sahib of Shri Akal Takhat Sahib Jathedar Harpreet Singh ji over the reported move of the Ministry of Defence in this regard.
Mr Badal was referring to reports in a section of the press which said that the ministry of Defense had already placed orders for bulk purchase of these so-called “specially designed helmets” for the Sikh soldiers. He said that the Sikh tenets forbade the wearing of any covering material over their turbans and in all combat operations, including the two World Wars, the Sikhs have neither asked for nor been forced to wear any such headgear over their turbans.”