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The spirit to fight injustice

Please refer to the article “Different strokes” by Harpreet Giani (February 24). I think the author is using perverted logic, sometimes sarcastic, to prove the Sikh stand incorrect or even stupid regarding the wearing of a turban in French government schools. In 1789, the French Revolution gave all modern constitutional systems the right to equality, fraternity and liberty. The turban is not only a religious symbol for the Sikhs but also a cultural South Asian and Middle East headgear. The Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Sikhs all use it. For a Sikh it’s his dress code, just like a European will wear a neck-tie, a symbol of Christ’s crucifixion. It is not that the French don’t know all this.

The Sikh soldiers have fought in the Commonwealth armies in World War I and II and liberated France in both wars from German occupation. In both the world wars they fought and died with their turbans on and lie buried in the Commonwealth cemeteries in Belgium and France. If they could liberate the French from German rule twice with their turbans and die for the cause of liberty how does the definitions of vague secularism given by Giani bar them from attending French schools? Why is the neck-tie worn by some school students and the teachers in these so-called secular schools? The Sikh children have no compunctions of attending biology classes as some other children. Neither do they hesitate to adhere to the prescribed dress code on the play field, gymnasium or the swimming pool.


Giani has objection to Muslim Rababi’s from performing kirtan in Darbar Sahib. I defend the author on this point. I go beyond the author in criticism of the SGPC in allowing two gurdwaras, two dharamshalas and two cremation grounds in most of our villages on the basis of caste when our religion totally forbids it and if this code is enforced strictly a person practising casteism can be excommunicated. If the SGPC is bad can the French practice of segregating Sikh children be good?

Giani denigrates the Sikhs for being naïve in approaching the International Court of Justice. If we are uneducated in the least he should appreciate we have the spirit to fight injustice by what we think is the highest court in the world. And what’s wrong in approaching human rights organisations?

SIMRANJIT SINGH MANN, President, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Quilla S. Harnam Singh, Fatehgarh Sahib

Fatwa: A welcome step

This refers to “This above all” by Khushwant Singh (Saturday Extra, March 15). That Muslim religious scholars of various shades got together at Deoband near Saharanpur and passed a fatwa condemning terrorism of all kinds, especially killing of innocent people, as being against Islamic tenants, is by itself a singularly praiseworthy act. For the first time, Muslim clerics in thousands and from all parts of the country unanimously passed this resolution without any dissenting voices.

As quoted by the writer, fatwas have not stopped terrorist acts in various parts of the world. However, that does not mean that this action is without its positive fallout both among Muslims in particular and the rest of the population in general. In fact, one has always been feeling as to why Muslims of India don’t come out and condemn terrorist acts in Kashmir as well as other parts of India. Muslims must demonstrate in various ways against those indulging in terrorism as their silence is taken as sympathy for the enemies of the nation.

Even if the fatwa at Deoband results in some positive action by the community against terrorism it would have served its purpose.

H.S. SANDHU, Panchkula


Consumer beware

This refers to the Consumer Rights column “Dealers must supply safe LPG cylinders” (Spectrum, March 16) I have been in the LPG trade for the past 38 years. All the oil marketing companies under PSU are not following The Gas Cylinders Rules, 2004, while bottling the LPG cylinders in their bottling plants. Each and every cylinder has to be retested after every five years. Oil companies cannot charge and transport such cylinders whereas such cylinders are in circulation in all the bottling plants of all oil companies, and are being filled and transported by the plants. It is the duty of Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation, Nagpur, a Department of the Government of India, to check them but they hardly do it.

A LPG customer can easily identify such cylinder as the year and month is written with paint on the strip connecting the cylinder hand ring and body. The month and year written on it should be the current month and year or the coming year which you can always check while receiving a filled cylinder. In case, such a cylinder is involved in an accident no insurance company will pay to a customer who might have an insurance policy. It is as good as holding a driving license which is not availed. All responsibilities are of the driver of a vehicle who is driving it, civil or criminal. Therefore every consumer should check the month and year of the retesting date on the cylinder. The filled cylinder should also be tested for leakage on receipt.




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