|A proposed ban on visible religious symbols in schools in France has evoked a lot of interest among the readers, since turban-wearing boys could also be affected when this ban is enforced. This special section has been created to collate developments and information on the issue.
a matter of pride and honour
by Roopinder Singh
and honour make a potent potion and the turban evokes these feelings in
those Sikhs who wear a turban. People have been wearing turbans since
time immemorial and you find individuals wearing turbans in many nations
in Asia and Africa. While for some turbans might be an optional, formal,
attire, for the Sikhs wearing a turban is a religious imperative.
Turban-wearing Sikhs stand out in a crowd, for good or bad, and there
are many documented cases, spread over centuries and spanning the globe,
when the Sikhs have faced discrimination and worse because of their
KAC meets French envoy
A delegation of the Khalsa Action Committee (KAC) today met Jerome
Bonnafont, French Ambassador to India, in New Delhi today to apprise him
of the Sikh concerns and viewpoint on the turban issue.
National Akali Dal activists burn
a cutout of French President Nicolas Sarkozy during a protest in
New Delhi on Tuesday against the French government’s decision to
ban turbans. — AFP
Sikhs to hold marches world over
Chandigarh, January 22
The International Sikh Confederation, an
umbrella body of various Sikh organisations, today gave a call to Sikhs
the world over to hold peaceful marches on January 24 to seek the
removal of ban imposed by the French government on tying turbans or “
patkas” for Sikh students in government schools in France.
to raise turban issue with Sarkozy
A large number of Sikh organisations will seek lifting of ban on turbans
in French schools with President Nicolas Sarkozy during his visit to
India later this month.
panel to challenge French law
The Dastar Action Committee (DAC) and the United Sikhs have decided to
jointly file a legal challenge to the French law banning the wearing of
turban by Sikh children in public schools in France, DAC president
Gurdial Singh disclosed here today.
Sukhbir writes to PM, French diplomat
Chandigarh, January 19
Sukhbir Singh Badal, working president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, has
expressed anguish and concern over incidents of racial prejudice and
violation of human rights in France.
word of caution for youth going abroad
The ongoing controversy over the turban issue in France has not had a
cascading effect on Siks living in Germany.
trade ties to resolve turban row: Ravi Inder
The Centre should exploit its trade relations with France to resolve the
turban issue which has affected thousands of Sikhs staying there.
to Sarkozy, Vedanti tells SGPC chief
Amritsar, January 20
Akal Takht has directed SGPC president Avtar Singh to take up the issue
of ban on turbans in French schools with French President Nicolas
Sarkozy, during his proposed visit to New Delhi on January 26.
panel to fight against French ban on turban
The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) has, in
principle, decided to join hands with the SGPC and other Sikh
organisations of the world in their fight against the decision
of the French Government to ban the wearing of turbans in the
PSGPC chief Bishan Singh
presents a photograph of Nankana Sahib to SGPC chief Avtar Singh
Makkar at Amritsar.
to meet French envoy; Mann against Sarkozy visit
With a view to deliberate upon the request of the Shiromani Akali Dal
(B) to fix a meeting with the visiting French President Nicholas Sarkozy,
Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, general secretary, SAD (B), would meet the
Ambassador of France to India in New Delhi on January 22.
takes up turban issue with French govt
Amritsar, July 1
In a significant development, the
United Nations has taken up the issue of banning turban by the
Government of France, imposed on schoolchildren by enacting the school
scarf ban law.
Violations in France
Badal writes to PM
Chandigarh, January 12
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today asked Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh to tell the French government to ensure that there was no
violation of human rights against the Indians, especially Punjabis and
the Sikhs, in that country.
|France expels 3 Sikh
Paris, December 17
Forty-three students, including three Sikh boys, have been
expelled from their schools in France after refusing to comply
with a new law outlawing religious insignia in state-run
educational institutions, officials said today.
issue: SGPC chief decries govt’s lack of support
(Kapurthala), June 1, 2005
Unhappy over the lack of government support to the turban issue in
France, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee has initiated direct
liaison with the French government in this regard.
toes DSGMC line on turban issue
The SGPC seems to have adopted the line of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara
Management Committee at least on ‘turban issue’. The decision to put
off the visit of SGPC delegation to France has been taken in order to
involve the Central Government.
protest planned against French ban
Sikhs the world over would be protesting the ban imposed by the French
authorities on wearing turbans. Revealing this here today, Shiromani
Akali Dal General Secretary, Onkar Singh Thapar said that Sikhs living
in India as well as abroad would march up to French embassies located in
respective countries and lodge their protest.
issue: Sikh delegation to visit France
Chandigarh, May 13
A delegation of eminent Sikhs will
go to France next week to take up the turban issue with various human
rights organisations and religious bodies in that country.
in Europe rally on turban issue
Sikhs in Europe are preparing to gather in front of the European
Parliament in Strasbourg tomorrow in their bid to win the right to wear
the turban which was banned in France and Germany.
flays SAD for writing to PM over France visit
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President of the Shiromani Akali Dal
(Amritsar), today criticised the SAD leadership, especially Mr Sukhdev
Singh Dhindsa, secretary-general, for writing a letter to Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh asking him to seek time from the French Government for a
deputation of the SAD MPs and representatives of the SGPC which wanted
to visit France to have discussions with the government over the turban
writes to PM over visit to France
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has written a letter to Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh, asking him to seek time from the Education Minister of
France for a deputation of SAD MPs and representatives of the SGPC,
which wants to visit France to have discussions with the French
Government over the turban issue.
body for resolution on turban issue
Dr Manjit Singh Randhawa, president, Sikh Nation Organisation, today
urged Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, to move a resolution in the
current session of the Punjab Assembly to express concern of the people
of Punjab over Human Rights violations in France.
of French ban on turban seeks help from Sikhs
Chandigarh, March 27
Jasvir Singh, a Sikh student who
was expelled from a public school in France for wearing turban, his
mother Surjit Kaur and his brother Karamvir Singh have come to Punjab to
seek help of Sikh politicians and religious leaders.
worry for Sikhs on turban issue
Another worry has started troubling the minds of European Sikhs, who
have been shocked by the ban imposed by the French Government on turban
in schools there.
is not lost yet on turban issue
On the turban issue in France, all is not lost yet. Another opportunity
is around to build pressure on the French Government to get the Act,
that was passed banning the turban in public schools there last year,
man victim of French rigidity on turban
Besides Sikh students in schools, Mr Ranjit Singh has also become a
victim of the French Government. Mr Ranjit Singh, who had gone to France
in March, 1991, from Ambala has paid the price for refusing to get
photographed without turban.
in turban case in France on Feb 11
The ban on turban in French schools had hogged the limelight in recent
months. However, the French Sikhs are continuing their struggle to be
able to freely support turbans in their day-to-day life and not face any
discrimination on this count.
clarification on Sikhs hailed
The Khalsa Panchayat has hailed the Justice department of the USA
Government for issuing a poster about the Sikhs in which it has
clarified their (Sikhs’) identity. In a statement issued here today,
the urban district unit president of the Khalsa Panchayat, Mr Bhupinder
Singh Nimana, said the poster would go a long way in clearing the
misgivings about the Sikhs in the USA.
initiative to explain turbans
AMERICANS are being asked by their Justice
Department to get acquainted with the turbans and other head coverings
like patkas and hijabs. Post 9/11, there have been a number of attacks
against people of colour, especially those who wear distinctive ethnic
turban law silly, says UK jurist
The French law banning the wearing of religious symbols, including
turban, came in for criticism from Lord Slynn of Hadley, an eminent
jurist. He termed the French law as “silly” and it “violated the
human rights” of individuals and should be challenged.
to issue white paper on turban issue
Jalandhar, November 27
Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder
Singh Vedanti, said today that a white paper would be issued by the
SGPC, which would highlight all aspects relating to the turban and its
ban in France.
Sikhs urged to unite on turban issue
Amritsar, November 26
Bibi Jagir Kaur, President,
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, today urged the Sikhs residing
in Canada to unite on the turban issue. The Canada Sikhs have been
protesting against the ban on wearing turban in front of the French
Embassy in Canada.
may establish school in France
A delegation of French Sikhs here to mobilise support against the turban
ban by the French government in schools, has decided to establish a Sikh
school, should the ban continue. Talking to the Press here yesterday,
the delegation stated that Sikhs were perturbed over the ban.
trade ties to resolve turban row: Ravi Inder
The Centre should exploit its trade relations with France to resolve the
turban issue which has affected thousands of Sikhs staying there. The
Akali Dal (Ravi Inder) president, Mr Ravi Inder Singh, said this while
addressing a Sikh convention organised to mark the 11th death
anniversary of Akali leader Baba Joginder Singh at Rode village, near
Sikhs approach EU on turban issue
Unhappy over the lukewarm response from the Indian Government and the
SGPC to resolve the turban issue, European Sikhs have started building
up pressure on the European Union to get the issue resolved in France.
Sikhs settled in European countries have collectively approached the
Union to ask the French Government to allow Sikh students to wear
turbans in government schools there.
does the turban threaten the French, asks M.S. Gill
Congress Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament M.S. Gill yesterday wondered
why France was afraid of “chuni” that the Muslim girls used to cover
their heads or how their uncovered heads would make France “safer”
in any way.
not turban, but mindset is the issue, Monsieur
expulsion of three Sikh students from a French school in Bobigny casts a
reflection on French laws and values. They have been thrown out of
school simply because they wear a turban.
Sikhs meet Sonia
Delhi, November 9
Congress President Sonia Gandhi
today assured a delegation of Sikhs from France that the turban issue
would be taken up through diplomatic and other channels.
Members of the French Sikh
delegation discuss the turban issue with Congress President Sonia Gandhi
at her residence in New Delhi on Tuesday.
— Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi
from France call on Tarlochan
A delegation of Sikhs from France called on National Commission for
Minorities Chairman Tarlochan Singh here today and impressed upon him
that a high-powered delegation from India should visit France before the
new law on the turban issue comes up for review in March next year.
leadership complicated turban issue: Dr Rai
Dress and discrimination
Legal wrangles over the turban
by M.S. Rahi
turban of the Sikhs is once again caught in a controversy. The Sikhs
have proved everywhere else — from the UK, Canada to the US — that
they have a fundamental and inalienable right to wear their turban in
all situations of life.
Dr Jasdev Singh Rai, International Adviser to Jathedar Akal Takht, has
given firsthand information about the series of meetings he had with the
Government of France to resolve the turban issue.
to all Sikhs to rally round French Sikhs
Sikhs in the Capital today decided to press upon the international
community and urged Sikhs all over the world to join hands to fight for
the “just cause of French Sikhs”.
Sikhs expelled from school in France
Paris, November 6
Three Sikh students were expelled
from school for refusing to remove their turbans, the first time Sikhs
were forced out under a new law banning conspicuous religious signs and
apparel in the classroom, their lawyer said.
Sikhs in India to mobilise support on turban issue
from France to meet SGPC chief today
He left his nationality for changing name to that of a Sikh. Now Darshan
Singh was in India, all the way from France, along with other Sikhs, for
creating awareness and mobilising support on the turban issue.
Even as the deadline fixed by a French court to decide the fate of three
Sikh students of a suburban Paris school whether they would be expelled
or allowed to cover their uncut hair despite a new ban on religious
symbols will end tomorrow, a delegation of Sikhs from France arrived
here to make a last ditch effort to pressurise the French Government
through Indian Prime Minister and the SGPC.
A delegation of Sikhs from
France is being received by Bhai Ranjit Singh, a former Jathedar of Akal
Takht, at Amritsar airport, on Wednesday.
— Photo by Rajiv Sharma
takes up turban issue with French Foreign Minister
New Delhi, October 28
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had personally taken up the issue of the
Sikh community’s turban issue in France with visiting Foreign
Minister Michel Barnier. Dr Manmohan Singh informed Mr Barnier that
wearing turbans was a religious symbol for the Sikhs and not an item
turban and French law
It’s unfair to ignore
by Subhash C. Jain
objective of any law has to be the welfare of people. It is not an
empty exercise and is meant to fill a gap in law. No law can aim at
bringing about only uniformity in law with a view to covering all
communities if its basic purpose is not to subserve the even tempo of
society as a whole.
turban issue by Nov 5, French court tells school
Paris, October 22
A French court ordered a suburban
Paris school today to hold a disciplinary hearing to decide whether
three Sikh pupils would be expelled or allowed to cover their uncut
hair despite a new ban on religious signs.
misled India on turban issue: DSGMC
New Delhi, October 9
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara
Management Committee, which has decided to move the European Court of
Human Rights against the French law banning wearing of turban by Sikhs
in government institutions, today accused Paris of having mislead the
Indian Government on the issue.
to move European Court on turban issue
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee has decided to move the
European Court of Human Rights against the French law banning the
wearing of turban by Sikhs in government institutions.
students of a school in France
body stays put on turban issue
The Sikh Nation Organisation (SNO) today refused to accept any
compromise on the right to wear turban and religious symbols and decided
to intensify its stir against turban ban by the French Government.
claim on turban row an eyewash, says Badungar
Former SGPC president and a co-opted SGPC member Prof Kirpal Singh
Badungar Prof today said that nine minister PM Dr Manmohan Singh’s
claim that the turban now in France was resolved was an eye wash. He
made this claims in New York yesterday.
Sikhs feel cheated
Sikhs in France claim that they have been fooled into believing that the
issue of tying of turban by Sikh children in schools would be addressed
to their satisfaction by the French Government.
issue almost solved, says French envoy
New Delhi, September 16
The turban issue, has been solved
amicably with all Sikh students, except three, returning to their
schools, claimed the French Ambassador to India, Dominique Girard.
“Only three cases remain pending today and dialogue is being pursued
with the three students concerned,” he said in a communication to the
National Commission for Minorities.
assurance to Ashwani Kumar on turban issue
New Delhi, September 14
Rajya Sabha MP Ashwani Kumar has made a forceful plea to France to
address sympathetically the issue of Sikh children wearing turbans in
French schools. Mr Kumar while
addressing a visiting Indo-French parliamentary friendship group, said
the issue was sensitive.
issue: Sikhs plan demonstration in NY
Patiala, September 13
Few Sikh students have been able to get entry into schools in and around
Paris wearing a handkerchief as headgear, even as a majority continue to
be denied entry into schools even though they presented themselves
sporting a shorter version of the turban or even a “patka”.
urged to take up turban ban with France
Mr Alwinderpal Singh Pakhoke, President, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak
Committee, urged the Central Government to take up the ban on turban by
the French Government without delay.
boys refused entry into French schools
Paris, September 7
France’s small Sikh community is
in an uproar after five of its boys were refused entry to state schools
under a new law barring pupils from wearing conspicuous religious
symbols in class.
urged to take up turban ban issue with France
Jalandhar, September 7
Dubbing the clamping of ban on headgear of Sikhs in France by the French
Government as a grave and unjustified attack on the religious freedom of
Sikhs, the Shiromani Akali Dal today urged the UPA-led Central
Government to take up the case of Sikhs with the French government.
students not allowed entry into French schools, says Sikh body
Despite claims by the Indian government that it had received assurances
from its French counterpart that Sikh students would be allowed to wear
turbans to school, turbaned youths were either not allowed to enter
schools or were made to sit in segregated classrooms after the start of
the new academic session on September 2.
Protest against ban on turban by French Government
More than 150 Sikh men and women today rallied in the township to
protest against the French Government’s ban on headgear in their
country. The protesters also raised the issue of Sikh women being forced
by the Chandigarh traffic police to wear helmets.
SGPC workers take out a
protest rally against the France Government’s ban on turban, at Mohali
— Tribune photo by Pradeep Tewari
Chirac refuse to meet Dr Manmohan Singh?
Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh's announcement, on Wednesday, that he was "hopeful of a
positive outcome" for turban-wearing Sikhs in France is welcome.
The French government's ban on all visible religious symbols, including
headscarves, large crosses and turbans, has been objected to not only by
the Sikhs, but has also created a worldwide controversy.
gets French reply on turban issue
Chandigarh, March 23
Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar)
president Simranjit Singh Mann has received a reply from French Foreign
Minister Dominique de Villepin on the turban issue that he had raised
with him. Mr Villepin informed that the “law project on turban will
not be in effect until the following school season in September and
hence this time should be used in removing all kinds of
protest against French ban
London, February 21
British Sikhs today protested in
front of the French Embassy at Knightsbridge here against the planned
ban on religious symbols in state-run schools in France. The huge
protest was a show of solidarity with the French Sikhs. Among those
protesting were Sikh veterans of World War II who fought for France
wearing turbans. The demonstration was jointly organised by the Akhand
Kirtani Jatha (AKJ), UK and the British Sikh Council. Mr Jagroop Singh
of the AKJ said Labour MPs John McDonnell, Bob Ainsworth, and Fiona
MacTaggart were expected to join the protest.
Young Sikhs demonstrate against the French government's planned ban on
students wearing headscarves and all other overt religious symbols in
state schools, near the French Embassy in London on Saturday. —
may compromise on turban issue
|New Delhi, February
Faced with a storm of protest
from Sikhs, France today indicated early redressal of their
grievances regarding sanctions on the turban as part of the
anti-veil law. “We need to solve this (the Sikh) problem,”
visiting Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin told reporters
immediately after his meeting with Union Minister Sukhdev Singh
Dhindsa and National Commission for Minorities chairman Tarlochan
Singh at a hotel to exclusively discuss the turban issue.
French Foreign Minister Dominique
de Villepin with (from left) SGPC General Secretary S.S. Bhaur,
Union Minister S.S. Dhindsa and Mr Tarlochan Singh in New Delhi on
Friday. — PTI
children demonstrate against ban on turban
Sikh children wearing
traditional saffron and blue ‘dastars’ (turbans) held a
demonstration at the entrance of the Golden Temple protesting
against the “turban ban” in primary schools of France. The
demonstration was organised today under the aegis of Culture
and Heritage Conservation Initiative” (CHCI) and Sikh
organisations to mark and coincide with the visit of French
Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin to India.
hold a demonstration against the ban on turban in France, near
the Golden Temple in Amritsar, on Thursday. The protest
coincides with the visit of French Foreign Minister Dominique de
Villepin to India. — Photo by Rajiv Sharma
to take up turban issue with French minister
New Delhi, February 12
The proposed French ban on wearing
ostensible religious symbols in public schools has been listed on the
agenda of the talks between visiting French Foreign Minister Dominique
de Villepin and External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha.
Minister’s assurance on turban
Amritsar, February 10
French Foreign Minister has given
an assurance to a delegation of Sikhs that the ban on turban would be
looked into. Mr Chain Singh, president of Singh Sabha Gurdwara in
France and senior leader of the SAD (Amritsar) stated today after
arrival from France.
lower House votes to ban head scarves
Paris, February 10
France’s lower House of parliament today voted overwhelmingly to ban
students from wearing Islamic head scarves and other religious apparel
in public schools.
on religious symbols will apply to schools only: French Ambassador
by Tripti Nath
after his posting to India in 2002 as Ambassador of France, Mr
Dominique Girard got busy with the visit of French Prime Minister Jean
Pierre Raffarin. The little that he has seen of India right from
Amritsar, Chandigarh and Varanasi in the North to Chennai and
Thiruvanthapuram in the South, he has found its cultural diversity
writes to French President on turban
Amritsar, February 8
SGPC secretary Manjit Singh
Calcutta has urged the French President to withdraw legislation
banning wearing of turban by Sikhs. The secretary said that in the
case of Sikhs, turban is unique compared to other religions.
seeks meeting with French minister
New Delhi, February 7
National Commission for Minorities Chairperson Tarlochan Singh has
made a formal request for a meeting with French Minister of Foreign
Affairs Dominique de Villepin during the latter's visit to India in
the coming week.
writes to Annan on turban issue
Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, SGPC president, today urged
Secretary-General UNO Kofi Annan to issue an advisory note to all
countries with special reference to France to treat Sikhs as religious
and cultural minority and therefore guarantee all facilities under its
declarations to protect their religious beliefs.
Forum submits memo to French envoy on turban issue
The Sikh Forum and the Sikh Core Group Delhi Chapter has submitted a
memorandum on ‘Turban as a basic religious value for Sikhs’ to the
Ambassador of France in India.
presents memorandum on turban issue
Phagwara, February 3
SAD (A) President and MP
Simranjit Singh Mann submitted a two-page memorandum to Mr Dominique
Dedvilletin, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Government of France, on
January 29 on the turban issue during his visit to Paris.
ban issue raised in Lok Sabha
New Delhi, February 3
A senior Congress member today sought the intervention of the Indian
Government in the wake of reports that France had banned Sikh students
from wearing turbans.
of Paris to take up turban issue
Patiala, February 2
National Minorities Commission
Chairman Tarlochan Singh today said the turban row in Paris was likely
to be resolved soon with the Bishop of Paris set to taking up the
issue with the French government.
to discuss Sikh identity issue with French Government
Amritsar, February 1
The British Home Secretary, Mr
David Blunkett, here today said that he would take up the Sikh
identity issue with the French Government.
Sikhs hold protest
Paris, January 31
A Paris boulevard became a sea of
coloured turbans today as Sikhs from across Europe marched to defend
their traditional headgear against a looming French ban on religious
symbols in state schools.
supports Sikhs on turban issue
Chandigarh, January 30
The government cannot be an
arbiter in any religious matter. Rather it should respect the dignity
of the human person and of his inalienable rights among which his
right to adhere, practise and propagate his religion is fundamental.
Sikhs upbeat about turbans
Paris, January 22
France's small Sikh community
grew confident yesterday as its boys could continue to wear turbans to
state schools after talks with officials to explain their headgear was
not a religious symbol taboo under a looming ban.
to ban the turban in France
An open letter to French President Jacques Chirac
Your excellency, President Chirac
AS one of the 25 million Sikhs worldwide, and as a soldier-writer who
from time to time centrestages issues concerning his community in
India, I would wish you to kindly reconsider the proposed legislation
banning the turban in government schools and offices in your country.
France in flux over move to ban
recent move, endorsed by the French President, Mr Jacques Chirac, to ban
the wearing of religious symbols in state schools has managed to unite
the minorities there.