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Delhi Sikh body enforces turban code
May 15, 2007 14:52 IST
Last Updated: May 15, 2007 15:27 IST
Within days of the the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh describing Sikhs as part of the Hindu samaj, Delhi's top Sikh administration has announced strict enforcement of the wear-turban rule at its schools, saying pupils found defying their religious traditions risk expulsion.
"These directions will strictly apply to Sikh students. It is our duty to ensure our traditions remain intact. Otherwise, forces like the RSS will succeed in their malicious campaign against our faith," Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee chief Paramjit Singh Sarna said.
The notice by the DSGMC, which administers a number of schools and colleges, is also prompted by concerns over rapid vanishing of turbans in Punjab, the heartland of the Sikh faith and home to the Golden Temple, the SGPC and the Akal Takht, the community's highest temporal authority.
A growing number of young Sikh men are now unfurling their turbans, wearing caps, shaving their beards and trimming their locks into crew cuts, mullets, spikes and other more exotic coiffures in a phenomenon seen as a cultural crisis at the heart of the community.
"This is sacrilege. If we cannot protect our identity, which makes us stand out distinctly, what good are we for? We will have to explain to our young men and women the significance of culture and tradition," Sarna said.
The haircut trend is hugely pronounced among Sikhs living in the West, which is blamed on what is regarded as intolerance there towards overtly religious clothing.
Balbir Singh Sodhi, a petrol station owner in Arizona, was killed in a post-9/11 reprisal attack because he was wearing a turban.